An Afro-Cuban Speaks out for Elian

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In a recent article, titled “Elian’s Tragedy and the traitorous behavior of El Duke,” Dr. Alberto Jones, a member of the West Indian Welfare Society in the city of Guantanamo, Cuba, who now resides in northern Florida, described the conditions to which Elian is being subjected.

Jones is an activist with strong ties to his homeland, Cuba, and is the director of the Caribbean American Children’s Foundation as well as a director of the Cuban American Alliance Education Fund, Inc.

The tragic events surrounding six-year-old Elian Gonzalez, who was found Thanksgiving day clinging to an inner tube off the shores of South Florida after the drowning death of his mother and nine others involved in an ill fated, alien smuggling attempt, have shocked the conscience of millions of people around the world.

This child, who may have suffered permanent psychological trauma and more physical pain than most of us in our lifetime, continues to be forcibly retained in a foreign environment, surrounded by people he has never seen before, turned into a celebrity, and plunged into a media frenzy by the heartless, vengeful, ultra-right-wing Cuban American pseudo-politicians in Miami and New Jersey.

In order to explain their absurd position, they are presenting the most bizarre, baseless arguments; as they perceive the well being of the child in direct relation with the availability of Nintendo, Tommy’s, or MacDonald’s, creating an artificial “Dream World” around him, which incidentally, does not apply to hundreds of other Cubans, Haitians, Afro-Americans or poor Anglo children in Miami and every other city in this country.

But what makes this action more despicable is that they are knowingly, systematically applying against this innocent child, well-established and universally accepted theories of “conditioned reflexes,” which were demonstrated many years ago by Pavlov and others.

By showering this child with an ample variety of foods, garments, toys, Disney World, etc., they are imprinting in his young brain a world he will no longer have, as soon as he is returned to his father, creating a vacuum that will be replaced by withdrawal, anxiety, depression, or a socially unfit time bomb, capable of going off any time.

Having been in this world for much longer than I would like to accept, I have experienced first hand the brutality, cruelty, viciousness that humans are capable of exhibiting.

But for most of the time, we expect to see this subhuman behavior associated with civil unrest or other types of deranged environment, that may explain in part, such actions.

But to do that in cold blood to a fragile, timid, scarred child is beyond all humanoid classification of these barbarians disguised as teachers, mothers, politicians, pediatricians, psychologists, sociologists, and even clergy!

As an Afro-Cuban, I am deeply troubled by the casual reporting or limited coverage of this horrendous human experience in the Black media. With few exceptions, prominent leaders with the moral standing capable of expressing their disgust have been conspicuously silent.

But above and beyond the morality of this issue, no other racial/ethnic group in the world should be more sensitive to any perception of forcefully restraining and separating family members, based upon our own tragic experience, in which family members were separated and dispersed throughout this hemisphere.

It must be emphasized also that what is being done to this defenseless child by the Cuban American community in Miami is nothing more than a rehash of what they did to the native community in Latin America as of 1492, to the African slaves as of 1512, to the Afro Cuban community until 1959 in Cuba and to the Afro-American community in South Florida since 1960, which they have subjugated and made hopelessly dependent, inflicting a massive influx of drugs and other social ills.

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