Coddling communist trumps boy's freedom

By Sean Hackbarth
web posted March 27, 2000

On Tuesday, March 21, Judge K. Michael Moore ruled that Attorney General Janet Reno acted properly in denying Elian Gonzalez an asylum hearing. "[T]he Court finds that the Attorney General's determination is controlling, conclusive, not manifestly contrary to law, and not an abuse of her congressionally delegated discretion," wrote Moore in a fifty page ruling. While Moore thought Elian's uncle Lazaro Gonzalez's lawsuit was "well-intended," he also thought Janet Reno was "equally well-intended" for determining "to see that a father's wishes to be reunited with his six-year-old son be given primacy in law and fact."

Elian Gonzalez is the Cuban boy pulled from the sea after fleeing Cuba with his mother. She died after their boat capsized leaving Elian parentless in the U.S. while his father Juan Miguel Gonzalez remained in Cuba. Since Thanksgiving of last year, Elian has been living with Lazaro Gonzalez's family in Miami. Elian's story has deeply divided Cubans both in Cuba and South Florida. Led by Castro's propaganda machine, Cubans have held daily protests demanding he be freed from his Miami "kidnappers" and returned to Cuba. For Cuban exiles in South Florida, Elian has become a symbol of all that is evil with Castro's regime. Strong words are spoken, and emotions run high.

Judge Moore found that Janet Reno acted fully in accordance to her role as Attorney General in matters dealing with immigration. "She has decided the issue of who may speak for Plaintiff, and her decision, by statute and in the exercise of congressionally delegated discretion, is controlling as a matter of law. A judicial review of the exercise of that discretion by the undersigned has found no abuse that would warrant a contrary conclusion," wrote Moore. Reno ruled that only Juan Miguel could speak for the boy, and he did not want an asylum hearing for his son. Whether Juan Miguel had free will to make his request, Judge Moore did not comment.

While it may just appear to be Janet Reno protecting the parental rights of a father, reading between the lines, one sees kowtowing to a brutal Communist dictatorship. The Clinton administration has had a history of softening relations with Communist countries. The U.S. now has an ambassador to Vietnam, and Secretary of Defense Cohen recently visited there.

Then there is the administration's pathetic stance toward China. While receiving illegal campaign contributions during the 1996 campaign cycle, the Chinese stole secrets to our most advanced nuclear weapons. Overt threats to the U.S. over Taiwan's independence have been met with lukewarm replies to defend Taiwan. The administration even has the gall to push for permanent normal trading status for China in Congress (leading to China's entrance into the World Trade Organization) while they continue to threaten our democratic ally.

The Clinton administration has not left out Castro's dictatorship. There has been a warming of relations between the two countries. Some charter flights are allowed between the U.S. and Cuba. A U.S. medical trade show has taken place in Cuba. There were even two baseball games played between the Baltimore Orioles and the Cuban national team.

So putting Janet Reno's decision to send Elian back to Cuba in perspective, one can see that the goal isn't the best interests of the child, but improved relations with a dictator.

In the conclusion of his ruling, Judge Moore urged "that those on each side of this litigation place the interests of Elian Gonzalez above all others." It is obvious that Elian's Miami relatives have done so by fighting to keep him from totalitarianism. Unfortunately, it seems the Janet Reno and the Clinton administration has decided that getting along with Fidel Castro is more important that a young boy's life.

Sean Hackbarth publishes ElianWatch and The American Mind.

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