Poor Elian Gonzalez. His life from now on will be fraught with
controversy and danger. He landed on our shores, half dead, after a
frantic escape from Castro’s hell during which his mother drowned. He
was rescued and taken in by relatives living in Miami who nursed him
back to health. It was expected that a child who had undergone such a
tragic and traumatic experience would be allowed to stay in the land of
the free and home of the brave.

But, suddenly, Janet Reno, Bill Clinton, and liberals everywhere were
bitten by the “family values” bug and decided that Elian should be
returned to his father in Cuba as quickly as possible, despite the fact
that his father is as much a slave of Fidel Castro’s as anyone else in
Cuba. This sudden hankering for family values on the part of Janet
Reno, who was responsible for gassing and incinerating about 80 men,
women and children in Waco, is just another example of the dishonesty
and hypocrisy that has characterized her reign as Attorney General — in
charge of cover-ups, massacres and, now, kidnapping.

And, suddenly, so many talk show hosts, including some conservatives
and that imbecile Bill Maher who hosts a misnamed show called
“Politically Incorrect,” have forgotten what communism is like to live
under. Forget about the million boat people who fled their communist
liberators in Vietnam. Forget about Pol Pot who murdered one third of
the total population of Cambodia in the name of Marxist-Leninism.
Forget about the thousands of Cubans who during the last 40 years have
died trying to escape Castro’s socialist paradise.

I’ve never before heard from the mouths of so many ordinary Americans
such callous disregard for the right of a six-year-old refugee from
communism to be given asylum in what we hope is still a free country.
He’s an illegal alien they scream. Send him back. His father wants
him. But, what’s the rush? Why is Janet Reno so anxious to give Castro
what he wants?

A Cuban spokesman has already announced that Elian is “a possession
of the Cuban government.” He is owned by Fidel Castro, not Juan Miguel
Gonzalez, a lowly worker in a slave state. Who is Juan Miguel to deny
Castro what is Castro’s property? If you want to know what happens when
you disagree with the great dictator, just read “Against All Hope,” by
Armando Valladares, who spent 23 years in Castro’s prisons because he
disagreed with communism philosophically. Valladares was subjected to
unspeakable torture, degradation, solitary confinement, beatings,
starvation, biological experimentation and forced labor. What permitted
him to survive was his deep Christian faith and an absolute refusal to
bend to the will of his communist tormentors.

“Against All Hope,” published in 1986, is a book that every American
high school student should be required to read in order to understand
the brutality and horror that underpins Castro’s police state. In
Armando Valladares, young people will find an unconquerable spirit, a
love of freedom and justice, a love of God, a love of truth and a heroic
model of resistance to evil that every youngster hungers to find and
emulate. Armando Valladares is one of the true heroes of the 20th
century. Too bad he has been so totally forgotten.

As for the Elian case, no one wants to deny a father the right to
raise his own son. But the father in this case is not a free man
expressing his free will. On arrival back in Cuba, Elian will be
brought to the Master Dictator, perched on his lap, and required to
profess his undying and fervent love for the savior of the Cuban people.
Nothing less will do. He will be told to denounce his relatives in
Miami as well as the United States. And, if he doesn’t, what then? He
will have to be re-educated. Six-year-olds are easy to re-educate when
you give them the choice between loving Castro and starvation.

Another ominous development in this situation is the rumor that Reno
has sent hundreds of federal officers down to Miami to prepare the area
for another Waco-type confrontation. Already, the Cuban anti-communists
are being demonized as law-breakers, kidnappers and illegal aliens who
don’t even speak English. Americans forget that it was we who helped
Castro take over Cuba. He was celebrated by the New York Times as the
George Washington of Cuba, even though it was known by the CIA at the
time that Castro was a communist.

All of that is now conveniently forgotten. The Cubans who fled
communism and settled in Miami were given the freedom to do so because
we know that we always had the power to overturn the communist regime if
we really wanted to. We squandered over 50,000 American lives to keep
the South Vietnamese free from communism and lost that war. We sent
troops to the Arabian Gulf to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. We
bombed Belgrade to liberate the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo from Serbian
control. Yet, we have done nothing serious to get rid of the communists
90 miles off the coast of Florida. Why not?

Meanwhile, Janet Reno’s goons are going to inflict law and order on
the people in Miami dedicated to protecting Elian from his kidnappers.
Millions of stupid Americans will shout hurrah once Reno has snatched
Elian from his Miami protectors and shipped him back to Castro. Poor
Elian, he can’t possibly know what has happened to the American spirit
in the last eight years. The American love of freedom is surely gone
when it is denied to a six-year-old who washed upon our shores in an
inner tube after his mother died trying to give it to him.

Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education,
including “NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education,” “The Whole
Language / OBE Fraud,” and “Homeschooling: A Parents Guide to Teaching
Children.” He is also the author of “Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for
Beginning Readers.” His books are available on Amazon.com.

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