I'll take an axe and split the child in two, and you can each have half, Solomon said.
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by Kelly Cogswell
APRIL 4, 2000. We've all heard the story of the two women, both claiming the same child, who appeared before a wise judge.
After hearing the case, the judge concluded, "I'll take an axe and split the child in two, and you can each have half."
The one woman said, "All right, that suits me."
But the other cried, "No, I'll give him up. Just don't kill him."
And Solomon, because it was he, said, "Voila," to the abdicating woman, "By your compassion you have revealed you are the true mother. You may take your child."
American justice. Until now, Elian's real father has only been able to look on as two false parents happily applied the axe to Elian.
The cowardly, dawdling U.S. government has battered the child with its delays in enforcing U.S. and international law, which clearly require that the 6-year old boy be returned to his father in Cuba.
The other bloody-handed false parentthe anti-democratic, Oedipally obsessed community of Miami Cubanswould rather dismember the child emotionally, maybe even physically, than send him back to the island of their devil father, Castro.
Any moment now, the only real parent, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, will arrive to claim his son and pick up the pieces. It is too late for justice. The 6-year old boy who looked glassy-eyed and dazed in December, has deteriorated into a needy 3-year old slung on his false mother's hip.
Last Act: Scene One. On March 21, U.S. Judge K. Michael Moore upheld the prior INS ruling returning Elian to his father. He also stipulated that Elian's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, is the only person entitled to speak for the child, and rejected the Miami Gonzalez' request for an asylum hearing.
After four months of coddling, the INS, ever so gently, began to turn the screws on the Miami relatives: Elian's provisional admission into the U.S. would be revoked unless the relatives agreed to expedite their appeals, and promise to return the boy if they lost. The family agreed to the first after a lot of wrangling, but was balking on the rest last week when Castro pulled the rug out from under them, and the U.S. government.
The bombshell. He announced that Juan Miguel Gonzalez was now willing to live in the U.S. with his son during the appeals process. Prior to that, the father had adamantly refused to come until the U.S. government was ready to return his son to him. The father would be accompanied by thirty others, relatives, classmates, teachers, his pediatrician.
Stunned, and outflanked, the Miami relatives, who had always charitably said they would hand over the boy to his father if he appeared in person, are now refusing to do so, even if they lose their appeal.
Since last week, they and their political handlers have been inciting the Miami community to prepare for war, if not secession. Hundreds of Cubans, practicing human chains and "civil" disobedience, have stated that Elian will be taken out of the house over their dead bodies.
God on their side.The Miami relatives have even claimed that the Virgin Mary, in protest of the boy's imminent departure, has appeared on a mirror in their home. Despite the fact the stain looks more like Darth Vader than the Virgin, the claim feeds the already frenzied myth that the boy was miraculously saved by dolphins from drowning and sharks to lead the Cuban people to freedom.
Further inflaming tensions, Miami area mayors have refused to lend the Feds their assistance in removing the boy, particularly Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas, who, it is rumored, aspires to a cabinet post in a Gore administration. Penelas sounded more like a Jihad terrorist, or Cuban tyrant, than a U.S. mayor when he further declared that any bloodshed would be the fault of President Clinton and Attorney-General Janet Reno.
Presidential politics. Disturbingly, neither presidential candidateVice-President Albert Gore nor George W. Bushcriticized the mayors' anti-U.S. posturing, or reminded them, though they may agree in sentiment, there was still the law to consider.
They aren't alone. Some members of Congress are also preparing to forcibly make Elian a U.S. resident against his father's will. It is not only wrong, but illegal, to strip children of their nationalities and identities, as it is both wrong and illegal to deprive Elian of his father.
Despite them all, Elian and his father will probably be back in Cuba soon. The rest of us will be left to wonder what their treatment in the U.S. says about us, and this country.
The future. What will it mean for human rights and democracy in the United States in the next four years when U.S. leaders scoff at the rule of law?
Can the U.S. nudge Cuba towards democracy if the Cuban-Americans in control of that U.S. foreign policy are anti-democratic Castro-like spawn?
Furthermore, what backlash will the secessionist Independent Anti-Democratic Republic of Miami Cubans provoke? Will it just be the healthy reining in they deserve? Or will all the immigrant communities suffer, all the people walking the tightrope of trying to preserve their culture in the face of powerful homogenizing forces, while still trying to take their place in the larger life of the United States?
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