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I would swim naked through a tank of sharks just to get to his new school.

Elian's Miami Utopia

by Chuck 45

FEBRUARY 6, 2000. Where is Elian now? What is this Florida Utopia he arrived at miraculously from the sea? Let us contemplate the precious pearls he's discovering.

I would swim naked through a tank of sharks just to get to his new private school, the perversely named Lincoln-Marti in Miami's Little Havana. Students' K-12 years are spent studying the Citizen's Training Handbook: Discipline, Moral, Civism, Urbanity by school owner Demetrio Perez. The secrets of everything are revealed from "Foreign Policy" to "Serving a Formal Dinner."

You can't put a price on the lessons teaching 6-year-old Elian that abortion and homosexuality are evil. That Nixon was given a raw deal and is now a genuine American hero like John Wayne. That the people of Cuba are starving, naked and homeless thanks to Castro. That Elian should always be happy, and on no account ever allow his wife to serve creamed peas on plates that clash with the tablecloth.

And his new family! One can only say their modest home masks the Camelot of East Little Havana. Until Elian arrived on the scene his Great Uncle Lazaro masqueraded as a sometimes car mechanic, his wife Angela as a part-time factory worker and homemaker, and their daughter Marisleysis as a loan officer at a neighborhood bank. Since Elian has become a cause celebre, they have given up the farce of toil. The rumors that their expenses are subsidized by the Cuban American National Foundation are dirty low-down lies.

The other characters in their family are independent and honorable souls. While another of Elian's Uncles, Delfin, is just a sometimes fisherman and lobster trap salesman, Elian's cousins, Luis and Jose Cid, are prime role models for the boy as they pass in and out of the household to play with him.

(mug shot of Luis Cid) Cuban Robin Hoods, Luis Cid is awaiting trial for snatching off a gold chain from a tourist in Little Havana, just a half-mile from the Gonzalez home, even though he'd earmarked the jewelry for an orphanage. Jose Cid has been arrested unjustly at least five times on felony charges ranging from burglary, grand theft, and robbery with force, though all proceeds went undeniably to a scholarship fund for East Little Havana gang members. For these good deeds, Jose has just been cruelly sentenced to 13 years in the slammer.

I've forgotten to speak of the radiant jewel, hard-line Cuban-American Miami herself. Even in Mississippi generations ago you couldn't find another place which upholds so well the traditional values embodied in our great Constitution. Pshaw to charges of corruption. Pshaw to charges of cop racism. People are treated differently because each is different, something you hear ninety times a minute from any liberal.

As to free speech--social ostracism, economic retribution, character assassination and death-threats are useful tools for winnowing out tepid, mealy-mouthed ideas muddying the real issues.

Poor old Castro, how can his naked Cuba compete?

Related links:

For Meg Laughlin's complete Textbook is Guide for Kids at Elian's School try this link or search the Miami Herald's thorough but pay-per-view archive.

For Lissette Corsa, Jim DeFede, and Robert Andrew Powell's complete A Family Portrait meet Luis and Jose Cid in the Miami New Times.

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