Dwight Watt Internet Article #41

#41 - Elian and the raid 4/26/2000

#41 - Elian and the raid

Last Saturday, the INS raided the Gonzalez house in Little Havana and retrieve Elian. From immediately after the raid we have heard comments on what we should or should not have done and have watched the Cuban-Americans march in the streets in protest and refuse to work on Tuesday.

Elian's relatives in Miami had argued since he arrived last November that they would release Elian to his father if he would just come to the US and ask for him. He arrived almost a month ago and still the Miami family would not let him go. Excuse after excuse came, and court battle after court battle.

Once Elian's father arrived in the US, Elian should have been turned over to his father immediately. Why you may ask. In my opinion blood is thicker than near blood. This is Elian's father, not a distant relative he never knew. His father is entitled to custody. But you say his mother died trying to bring him to freedom. Yes I agree, but his mother and father had joint custody of him in Cuba, which means when his mother died then his father should have full custody.

The family in Miami now says that if we had just waited a few more hours they would have released him. I back Janet Reno in her decision. They had had plenty of time, and they kept delaying. The courts never ruled custody for them, only that boy must stay in states until court settled. Reno and Clinton had no choice but to go get the boy and turn him over to the father. There comes a point negotiations end and the war begins.

The court made an absurb ruling in saying that INS must consider the boy's asylum request. This was written by Elian while staying with the relatives who are concerned about the propaganda that will be out in him when he goes back to Cuba and that Castro will make him a symbol. Elian until he was taken by INS Saturday was being told by his relatives that his mother was still alive and lost in Miami. They continuously put him on display to show him off as their trophy. Now what is really different about what they did and what they claim Castro will do? They took him DisneyWorld and Castro will probably put him in a major parade.

As far as raiding the house with guns, what else do you expect. The rumors had been all over that either the relatives in the house were armed and/or the crowd was armed and that in either case they were going to prevent the government (Cuban or US) from taking the boy. If we had sent them in unarmed that would have been risking our agents. The agent getting Elian from the closet does not have finger on trigger, but that makes no difference to me. Those people were trained to take him and to use those guns. If he had not pointed it at the boatrman and had trigger set, what would have been the outcry if the boat man had shot Elian and/or the INS agent. They were doing their job and correctly. The family had plenty of time since November to voluntarily give up the boy.

I cannot understand the relatives all heading for Washington pleading for visitation rights. Why do they think they, distant relatives, should have visitation rights, when they would not grant them to his father, Elian's closet kin person? The cousin cries out of "If it were your son, would you want him seized like that?" Reminder to her Elian is not their son, his father has been sitting in Washington begging for his son.

To Elian's relatives, I would comment, your 15 minutes in the spotlight is over. Your job was to take care of him til his father came. That is done. You may not like Castro, but where Elian is raised is his father's choice. To the Cuban-Americans, this is America and we do value family values, which means Elian belongs with his father. Stop your protests. Reno and Clinton and Elian's father showed more patience that I thought necessary. To the courts, grant the father the choice of where Elian goes. Elian is only 6 and is not old enough to decide himself. The courts rule 6 year olds are too young toundr stand committing crimes, so he is to young to decide where to live.

To Elian I would comment that just as life in Cuba will not be as bad as they have told you in Miami, life in the US will not be as nice as you have encountered to now. Once all is settled, you would not get to go multiple times to DisneyWorld, you would no longer draw large crowds, and you will have to clean your room. However go back and tell your friends in Cuba about how great DisneyWorld is, and the day may come sooner when Cuba becomes a republic like the US and the economy booms.

To Congress, let's use a little restraint and logic. Tom DeLay should be censured for the comments he made Saturday. Claiming there was no warrant when there was and that the raid was illegal was inciting a riot in Miami. Check your information. You did same thing you gripe about the Democrats. There is no need for Congress to investigate this except to waste our tax money. The raid had a search warrant with Elian being target and to seize the target. Janet Reno did her job right. However if you do want to run an investigation then answer this question for me. Why was the boatman who supposedly happened to find Elian at sea, doing at the relatives house, and why did he hide with Elian in the closet and what is he doing in DC with the family?


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