Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

April 27, 2000

ELIAN'S FUTURE IN A TOTALITARIAN STATE by Berit Kjos, Kjos Ministries

"All other things being equal, children belong with their parents. But all other things have not been equal in Cuba since 1959. All other things can never be equal in a country that treats children -- by law -- as political raw material to be exploited by the state. In the civilized world, parents are entrusted with the freedom of shaping their children's values and guiding their education. But in Castro's Caribbean paradise, parents who try to raise their children according to the dictates of conscience have been punished with impoverishment, imprisonment -- and worse." Jeff Jacoby, If Elián Returns To Cuba, Misery Awaits." "The problem is that Cuban laws criminalize free speech and free assembly and undercut defendants' rights to a fair trial." Human Rights Watch, October 1998.

"Cuba took firm action against nonviolent government critics as the year progressed with surveillance, harassment, and intimidation." Human Rights Watch, December 1998

"Law No. 88... is so restrictive that a Cuban could now be imprisoned for up to five years for merely writing a letter abroad complaining about food shortages." Human Rights Watch, October 1999

To people who have never known tyranny, it makes sense to "send the child back to his father." Few realize that the traditional American view of what's "best for the child" doesn't apply in Elián Gonzalez' native land. In totalitarian countries such as Cuba, parents and children have only one right: to follow the government plan. They must learn Communist ideology, obey oppressive rules, and serve "the state" -- an impersonal and heartless system that enforces absolute compliance. In a practical sense, Elián's 'guiding father' would be Fidel Castro. His atrocious human rights record show that Cuban children belong to the state, not to parents. Elián's biological father would be forced to participate in Castro's primary political plan for the little boy: to purge every trace of capitalist, anti-communist sentiment from his mind and heart and make him a compliant little communist -- one who willingly echoes Castro's hatred for the free world.

This is no empty threat. In the article " Education In Elián's Cuba: What Americans Don't Know," Agustín Blázquez writes:

"The education that children like Elián González receive in Cuba from kindergarten on is geared to create a new type of human being. Implicit in the 1976 Cuban constitution is an all-encompassing structure to educate and mold children. Parents do not have the authority to deviate from this structure....

"Beginning in preschool, children are taught songs and poems praising the revolution and Castro, establishing a personality cult around his figure. Also, belief in God is discouraged. They are taught instead, to believe in Castro....

"Compositions and essays, primarily of political content, at the fourth and fifth-grade level concentrate on 'Yankee imperialism' and on denouncing Castro's 'enemies,' fostering intolerance and extreme hatred toward anybody who wants democracy."

This brainwashing process demands punishment for non-compliance, and children who refuse to conform are used as examples to intimidate others. If parents dare to express their displeasure, their children suffer. Mr. Blázquez cites an incident that shows how a child suffered because a grandmother dared report her observations about Cuba:

"Pura Castilla, a Cuba Free Press independent journalist, recalls with bitterness that nine years ago, when her grandson became 7 and Castro's regime automatically stopped giving him milk, he commented, 'Mother, the only milk left was for my little brother. The milkman said that there is no more milk for me.' "

Dr. Alberto Luzárraga, an attorney in New Jersey, shows the legal basis for communist brainwashing. His article titled, "Elián Should Stay? A Different Legal Approach," opens the window into some unthinkable totalitarian constraints. Take a look at the Cuban law that regulates children's rights. Called The Code of The Child, Law No. 16, it outlines the basic rules and restrictions of education and child-raising:

"Article 3. The communist formation of the young generation is a valued aspiration of the state, the family, the teachers, the political organizations, and the mass organizations that act in order to foster in the youth the ideological values of communism.

"Article 5. The society and the State watch to ascertain that all persons that come in contact with the child during his educational process constitute an example for the development of his communist personality.

"Article 9. Educators have a high mission in the development of the communist personality.

"Article 23. Upon completion of primary schooling young people may continue their education... on the basis of their academic achievement, political attitude and social conduct.

"Article 33. The State grants special attention to the teaching of Marxism Leninism due to its importance in the ideological formation and political culture of the young students.

"Article 68. Children and young people prepare for the patriotic/military education by acquiring military knowledge& and active military service making their own the principles of proletarian internationalism and combative solidarity."

Naturally, Elián's warm relationships with his Florida relatives would have to end. The Code of the Child forbids such negative influences:

"Art 8. Society and the State work for the efficient protection of youth against all influences contrary to their communist formation. Any alternative to Marxist education would be illegal, and those who disagree with communist ideology would be punished. In other words, parents would lose their right to raise their children according to their own personal faith if their convictions clash with communism -- which Biblical Christianity certainly would. The Cuban constitution affirms the Code of the Child:

"...no rights granted by this constitution can be exercised against the existence of and objectives of the communist state. The infraction of this article is punishable."

"You are either a communist or a felon," wrote Dr. Luzárraga in the article, "The 'cumulative record' awaits Elián in Cuba." This statement is key to understanding the difference between the freedom Americans have enjoyed and the repression Cubans have suffered. Just as ominous are his other warnings:

"...parental rights have been made into a sorry appearance of rights, with no substance, given the fact that in addition to this educational abuse children are forcefully separated form their parents and sent to government boarding schools at age eleven....

"Can't you compensate by educating at home? Good question and a typical question of a concerned parent living in a free society. The problem is that Cuba is a totalitarian society. Let me explain. A totalitarian society is different from a garden-variety dictatorship. A run of the mill dictator wants to stay in power. He doesn't really care what you think as long as you don't challenge his power. A totalitarian dictator wants all citizens to march in absolute lockstep not only in actions but also in THOUGHT....

"The Code of the Child decrees what you SHALL think, and the cumulative record sees to it that you do.

"How does it work? From the moment you enter school, a record is kept of your achievement but these are not only academic achievements, they include an evaluation of your political attitude and your participation in "mass organizations," a communist euphemism for forced participation into their brainwashing shenanigans.

"If you have religious tendencies that is a demerit, if your family goes to church that is also a demerit, if you say things that don't sound right it is presumed you learned them at home. This is not only a demerit but also the beginning of a check on your parents. The objective is to put pressure on the bonds of love in the family. Be careful not to say anything good and different and lest the child innocently repeat it, thus compromising his future.

"Why does it compromise his future? Because the infamous code of the child states in its article 23 that students advance 'on the basis of their academic achievement, political attitude and social conduct.' By the way, social conduct means joining all the required party organizations for youth, etc.

"It does not stop here, it continues through the university and through your adult life. When you start working you have a labor record with the same type of criteria.

"Do you now understand Elián's mother's desperation? Do you really want to send this child miraculously saved to that inferno?"

Did these descriptions sound familiar? They would, if you were born in China (which has the same kind of system) or if you have read Zero Tolerance For Non-Compliance: Ten Steps Toward Lifelong Behavior Modification. For they expose not only communist ideology, but also the "seamless" UN management system being imposed on unsuspecting Americans through Goals 2000, School-to-Work, and the massive international mental health system. As in Cuba, this horrendous human development system includes indoctrination in socialist values, assessing beliefs and attitudes, an accumulative personal record, and rights and rewards based on compliance with the new world order. Thank God, at this moment, our nation still enjoys freedoms that unselfish Cuban parents would give their lives to gain for their children.

CASTRO'S STAKE IN THIS POLITICAL BATTLE. While all Cuban children and adults face brainwashing , Elián's plight would be worse. Castro has invested his international reputation in this public battle for Elián's future. No matter how miserable the boy might be under Castro's oppressive rule, his American friends must never see his grief. In the public eye, Elián must either bow in dutiful gratefulness to Castro as his savior -- or be kept silent, for Castro will not let the world watch the signs of defeat.

In spite of his sporadic show of kindness, Castro has no genuine mercy for Elián or any other child that resists his agenda. A heart-breaking example of his cruel policies toward those who flee for refuge in Florida occurred in 1994. On that tragic day, over 72 Cubans, including more than two dozen children, tried to escape Cuba's 'living hell' at 3am in an old tugboat. This website tells the story:

The boat was detected and approached by the Cuban Coast Guard within minutes. The government boat did not attempt to stop the "13 de Marzo," but instead stalked it for some 45 minutes until it was approximately 7 miles out to sea. It was then that the government vessel, beyond the sight of any possible witnesses on land, first rammed the defenseless boat full of refugees.

"...two government fire-fighting boats soon appeared and began to pummel the helpless passengers with water from their high pressure hoses. Although the passengers repeatedly attempted to surrender to the government officials . even going so far as to hold children up in the air. the Cuban Coast Guard was relentless in their attack. The force from the firehoses was enormous: One survivor witnessed 'children sprayed from the arms of their mothers into the ocean waters'. Other children were simply swept off the deck into the sea.

"Desperate to protect the children, the women carried the remaining children down into the boat's hold, [but the firehoses] were filling the hold with water. With most of its weaker passengers already drowned inside the hold or in the sea, the tugboat 'filled with water and cracked in two by renewed ramming' took only seconds to sink.

"The merciless attack left 23 children and 17 adults dead in the Florida Straits.... Not only did the agents of the regime refuse to search for the dead, but they mocked the survivors and the relatives of the deceased: "They laughed at those who went by to ask that State Security reclaim the bodies," said Gerardo Pérez in his tearful press conference. 'The officials said that to them, the drowned were nothing other than 'counter-revolutionary dogs'.' "

Castro may view human "dogs" as disposable and care less for their pain.

But he does care about his own power and reputation in the international community, and nothing wins him more points among third world leaders than his arrogant tirades against the United States. I heard him speak to the global assembly of delegates at the 1996 UN Conference on Human Settlement (Habitat II) in Istanbul. The auditorium erupted with shouts and applause as Castro walked to the podium to begin his denunciation of capitalist Western nations, especially the USA.

"We are the world and the world does not yield to masters nor to suicidal policies," he promised his cheering fans. "The world does not accept that a minority of selfish, insane and irresponsible people lead it to annihilation."

"Fidel, Fidel", shouted the audience. The thunderous applause followed him all the way back to the Cuban section on the other side of the hall, where fans lined up to shake his hand.

"Why are you so enthusiastic?," I asked some of his admirers after the session.

"Because he is a living myth," someone explained. "He was a simple guerrilla, fighting for the oppressed against the rich and powerful."

"He always steals the show," said another. "Just look at the front page of the New York Times. Others are inside. Fidel is on the front."

"Because he stood up to America," answered a third enthusiast, hitting the heart of the issue.

Indeed he did! And once again, the world watches in awe as Fidel Castro tackles America. With Janet Reno and the INS on his side, he may be winning. Meanwhile, the reversal of 35 years of sympathetic Cuban asylum policies raises some hard questions: Why does our federal government ignore the precedence of legal asylum for thousands of other Cuban children sent by unselfish parents who were forced to remain in Cuba? Could our leaders have reinterpreted the familiar phrase . in the best interest of the child. in the compromising light of political expedience? Will our leaders, as they did with China, ignore the high value of freedom in order to establish friendly bonds with Cuba?

THE PRICE OF FREEDOM. "Elián Gonzalez is not the first Cuban child to arrive in the United States without his parents," writes Jeff Jacoby. "From the earliest days of the Castro dictatorship, Cubans have gone to desperate extremes to smuggle their children to freedom. Between December 1960 and October 1962, more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children were sneaked off the island -- with their anguished parents' blessings -- in an exodus that came to be called 'Operation Peter Pan.' Many of those parents never saw their children again.

They understood the meaning of "best interest of the child" and loved their children enough to pay the heavy price. Back then, our nation was alert to the evils of communism, and many kind-hearted strangers received those children with love. But America has changed.

One of the more chilling signs of approaching controls in the USA was President Clinton's executive order establishing a monitoring, prevention, and remediation system for implementing UN Human Rights treaties whether ratified by Congress or not. Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it sounded good. But the UDHR -- like other UN human rights treaties as well as the Cuban constitution mentioned earlier -- conditions all its promises on compliance with politically correct ideology.

Thus, Article 18 of the UDHR upholds "the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion..." Article 19 affirms "the right to freedom of opinion and expression... and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." But Article 29 states that "these rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations." In other words, these "rights" or "freedoms" don't apply to those who might criticize UN policies or their implementation in the United States. Do you hear the echo of Cuban communism?

Look again at life in Cuba. If our leaders send Elián back, he would be forced to join the masses that hate dissenters. The little boy will "be taught to regard any Cubans who reject Castroism -- including his dead mother -- as counterrevolutionaries and traitors," warns Jeff Jacoby. "And he will face 'gaping deprivations of Cuban life -- the shortages of everything from milk to medicine, the severe rationing of soap and meat, the lack of toothpaste and anesthesia.' "

Is that in Elián's best interest? Is it in ours? (This article reflects of the views of the author and not necessarily those of the American Family Association.) Copyright © 2000 Berit Kjos - Kjos Ministries


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