EDITORIAL: The Elian Gonzalez Gase

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As we go to press, it appears that the U.S. government is finally preparing to turn Elian Gonzalez over to his father, after more than four months of delays and anti-Communist drum-beating. U.S. capitalist politicians and the media in general have exploited the case of this six-year-old child to try to make propaganda points against the Cuban revolution.

In her press conference announcing the decision to restore Elian to his father, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno took a gratuitous swipe at the Cuban government: “Cuba is repressive society governed by a dictator from whom thousands have fled.”

But ultimately, the United States could not fail to return Elian without paying an excessive price. It is not simply that holding Elian would be a clear violation of the law and even the “family values” professed by all the bourgeois conservatives.

The fact is that the anti-Communist propaganda did not work. The great majority of Americans were unmoved by it. And the more the politicians and the Cuban counterrevolutionaries pounded on this theme, the more they risked getting an allergic reaction.

They were coming to be seen as the political fanatics blind to basic human rights, not the Cuban revolutionary government. So, political exploitation of this case was becoming a losing game for them, and the more intelligent of them seem to have decided to get out of it.

Nonetheless, genuine supporters of human rights and human values need to continue to raise a hue and cry about the U.S. officials’ exploitation of this case and against any further stalling in the return of Elian to his father. It is also important that the lessons be drawn about the ruthlessness and hypocrisy of the U.S. ruling class and its politicians and mass media stooges to forestall further abuses of this type.

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