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Elian, Now 11, Described as "Normal" By fidelita
Tuesday, April 19, 2005 By: Juan Paxety
And fidel exploits
I only hope, for his sake, that today's story from The Sun - Sentinel, as printed in the Kansas City Star is true. It's been five years since federal agents burst into a Miami home and with force of arms took a 5-year old boy from freedom and delivered him back to fidel.
The story says Elian Gonzalez is now 11-years old, and living with his family. The Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, of the National Council of Churches, describes him as "normal."
"He strikes me as a happy boy, a very healthy boy," said Campbell, who helped negotiate Elian's grandmothers' trip to the United States and has visited the family in Cardenas several times. "There's no question he's famous, but I think there's also a normalcy about it. There's only so much you can say. He's a normal little boy."
I hope he is normal, but I wouldn't trust Campbell as a source. The NCC was one of the groups fighting hardest to send Elian back to fidel.
He's described as a local celebrity, as I guess he would be, but I have to wonder about the description of his life contained in the article.
Today, Elian and his family live in a roomy blue home with red trim on Cardenas' main street, 80 miles east of Havana. It has a tidy, fenced front yard, a porch swing and a menagerie of pets, including parakeets, fish, dogs and a rabbit.
Today, Elian is a model student, favoring math and Spanish classes. He has been chosen leader of his sixth-grade class and will begin middle school this fall.
He takes karate lessons and plays pingpong. Despite having lots of toys at home, one of his favorite games is fishing for tadpoles in the gutter in front of his grandparents' home on Cossio Street, near the rocky beach.
Is this the life of a typical Cuban child? Or is fidel giving this celebrity a better life in order to fool the gullible? That couldn't be, you say?
Still, for a boy known around the world by his first name, "normal" is a relative term. Several plainclothes security officers are stationed in front of Elian's home to keep strangers from getting too close, and a museum in his hometown is partly dedicated to Cuba's campaign to "save" him.
Plainclothes security officers.
Elian's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, refused to be interviewed. According to the story put out by fidel's supporters and the Clinton Administration, Juan Miguel only wanted to be with his son. So what's he up to now? He's best buds with fidel.
Indeed, Castro takes a special interest in his schooling. Elian's father, who was elected to Cuba's National Assembly in 2003, tries to see Castro whenever the family is in Havana. Gonzalez is often seen in the front row of government-organized rallies, sometimes accompanied by a bored-looking Elian.
"We almost always talk (with Castro) about the family," Gonzalez Sr., a retired police officer, said. "How (Elian's) studies are going, sports. He (Castro) is always interested in how Elian is doing in school."
Typical fidel - continuing to exploit children for his own greater glory.