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Elian should stay in the United States

Elian Gonzalez, a 6 year-old Cuban boy, was found Thanksgiving Day clinging to an inner tube off the coast of Miami after his mother, along with nine other people, drowned while fleeing Communist Cuba in a boat. (Elian Gonzalez Timeline Part I, 1). Since he arrived there has been a lot of controversy over who should have possession of this child. Some of the issues involved include the differences between the laws of the Cuban government and the U.S. government. Another fact is that if the boy returns to Cuba, he will be sent away from his father at the age of 11. Third, the mother, Elizabet Gonzalez lost her life but was successful in getting Elian to the U.S (Cunha, 14). Finally, Castro manipulates the father. Therefore, Elian should be able to stay in the U.S.

A lot of questions have been raised about whether Elian should be returned to the slave state of Cuba as his father demands, or remain in the U.S. with his paternal parents (Cunha, 3). Some of the questions that come to mind are if the father wanted his son to live in Communist Cuba, does he have the right to force his son to do so (Cunha, 4). Parents do not own their children; they are the guardians of them (Cunha, 5). Elian s father has not a single right to place his son in a dictatorship where individuals do not exist (Cunha, 6). Forcing Elian to live in an oppressive dictatorship is a violation of Elian s right. Keeping Elian in the U.S. does not violate the father s rights (Cunha, 7).

Castro is violating the rights of Juan Gonzalez, Elian s father, by preventing him and his father from leaving Cuba physically (Cunha, 9). The Cuban dictator is violating the father s rights by threatening to imprison Elian s father if he commits the political crime of disagreeing with the Cuban State (Cunha, 10). If there is no difference between Cuba and the U.S., why does Cuba use force to keep people in, and why do we use our force to keep people out (Cunha, 12)?

What is Elian s best interest: life in America or life in a tropical prison camp where they are lacking food (Cunha, 13)? Obviously, Elian s mother knew the answer. She died trying to escape Cuba with her son. She found freedom worth dying for thanks to the Castro regime (Cunha, 15).

His father, Juan, lacks the abilities to provide the basics for Elian. That is food, security, justice, freedom and the right to be happy and to live a good life (Ruddy, 17). The Miami relatives do not lack these necessities and have proven that with what they have already provided him (Ruddy, 18). They took him to Disney World, celebrated Christmas in the U.S., and enrolled him into school. They have most likely already given the boy a better life than the father did.

If we send him back, we are letting Castro have his way, and he is a very evil man (Ruddy, 21). Elian is just a baby. He should be allowed to live in the U.S. and have freedom. That is what his mother wanted him to do (Cunha, 22). They are using Elian as a toy and Castro is saying, He is mine not yours (Jacoby, 23). If we return Elian to Castro s custody, thinking that it really doesn t matter, then we really don t believe that we stand for something (Jacoby, 25). Elian does not want to return to Cuba, but wants his father to move to Miami with him (Jacoby, 26).

Right now Elian, his father, stepmother, and half-brother moved from Andrews Air force base to the Wye Plantation (Elian Timeline Part I, 29). There was also a work stoppage on April 25 in Miami by the Cuban-Americans and their supports that are protesting the method the federal government took (Elian Timeline Part I, 28). They have found the INS documents authorizing the removal of Elian (Elian Timeline Part 1, 31). A lot of the republicans demand hearings on the federal raids and wonder if they were necessary (Elian Timeline Part I, 30).

The relations between U.S. and Cuba have been bad from the past. In the 1960 s, Cuba established close ties with Soviet Union and served as the surrogates in Africa and several Latin American countries. This fueled the cold war tensions and kept the relations distrust during the 1960 s. In the 1970 s, we began to piece together the broken ties until Cuba launched a large-scale intervention in Angola in 1975. Even though Cuba sent troops to Ethiopia and they allowed Soviet Union to put forces on the island. In the 1980 s 125,000 Cubans were sent to the U.S. by the Cuban government as the Mariel Bontlift. In 1984, the U.S. and Cuba negotiated an agreement for normal immigration and sent those excludable to the U.S. law back to Cuba. In the 1990 s, 30,000 Cubans came to the U.S. due to the food shortages and blackouts that erupted in Havana. The Cuban military shot two U.S. aircraft killing three U.S. citizens and one U.S. resident in 1996. Cuba and the United States do not get along real well, therefore, to conclude the essay, Elian should stay in the U.S. (USA-CUBA Relations, 36-39).

Work Cited

Unknown. “Elian Gonazalez Timeline Part I.”


Cunha, Mark Da. “Who should have legal Custody of Elian?


Ruddy, Christopher. “Keep Elian Free.”


Jacoby, Jeff. “If Elian Returns to Cuba, Misery Awaits.”


Unknown. Usa-Cuba Relations.

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