by Ralph Rewes

Let us close our hearts for a few minutes, and leave behind the terrifying images we saw or the horrifying images we imagined of a little boy sedated and manipulated by unscrupulous watch dogs of a totalitarian regime and of a democratic regime that played the same game. There are frightening consequences, if this case is not brought out in the clear for all to see an analyze, for there are many valuable democratic practices that has been put in an endangered species list, by cover-ups, manipulations, secret pacts with the devil (guess who?), and distribution of controlled propaganda to newspapers and media who played a submissive rôle to the ruling elite.

The queasiest feeling and intellectual concern comes from the acceptance with which the press accepted to be kicked out of the scene of the crime. It should been an outcry, very loud and clear before the present Administration attitude, especially the selling of an incredible accumulation of justifications for Government's secrecy on most events and matter related to the Elián’s case, with the lame excuse not to ruffle the masses.

There is an increasingly dangerous precedent in this official attitude. And the media should not be gagged, or let themselves be silenced. In this particular case, there should have been a press representative on board the airplane to oversee what officials were doing, including possible drugging (sedatives) of the child. Members of the press should have been present at the father-son meeting.

The whole official stand is not only shameful, but sets outrageous standards when dealing with family matter in the same fashion as when fighting terrorists and drug dealers.

A line must be drawn.

Especially when the Administration is the only voice allowed as "truth" since the coverage of the press was hindered, as in this case, by a kidnapping and placing the victim in a place with no access to the press, thus, preventing the public to know exactly what is going on. And we already know, we must be very concerned when there are so many lies in official declarations.

Lies are abundant in this case. No tear gas was used against pacific demonstrator. They did use it as shown by a local TV station. The gun was not pointing at the boy. It did as clearly shown on a second AP picture not often seen in the press.

There is a lot of things behind Elián’s case that should alarm us all.

The most outstanding one is blocking the media, especially the graphic media. It was so important for our current administration not to show the kid’s face to the Americana public — communist style. Apparently, they were well briefed on the matter by the Cuban masters in propaganda.

What is so important for this administration to go to extremes where our national dignity is put in jeopardy?

To prevent something so dirty to ever happen again, there should be a bill or an amendment to prohibit any Administration to limit the access of the press in these public cases.


Ralph Rewes

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