Letters to the Editor
If Harvey Were Editor (Yipes!)
A mixed message: You have the wrong photo on the cover of your June 22 edition ("Let Me Kill Myself," Bob Whitby)! You should have had the photo of "El Pescador," Donato Dalrymple, adorn the cover with the same words superimposed!
Robert Andrew Powell, Godless Racist!
The Elián saga isn't a joke: With regard to your article in New Times ("Rick Sanchez, Godless Communist!" Robert Andrew Powell, June 1), while you may believe your article and the whole Elián González "saga" is a joke, I can assure you that neither your article nor the situation is a laughing matter, and the tone of it smacks of racism. I can only assume that your insensitivity arises from a lack of understanding of how Rick or any Cuban-American could possibly want a child separated from his father.Under normal circumstances we all agree that a son should be united with his father. However, what the average Anglo-American does not realize is that, in a communist state, everything belongs to the state. People do not, cannot, own any property. The government owns all the land, houses, farms, cars, people, and yes, children. As a matter of fact, from an early age, children are forcefully removed from their parents and taken to indoctrination camps, where they are taught that the state and thus the Communist Party is their family. Moreover they encourage children to denounce their parents if the parents disagree with the Communist Party. Many parents were killed in firing squads because their children had turned them in to the Castro regime. Moreover the children could watch their parents' execution because these executions were aired, uncensored, on public television every evening.
So you can see, this child will be raised as a property of the communist government in Cuba, not as a child of Juan Miguel González. This is why we disagree with the decision to send Elián (or any other child) back to Cuba.
Rick Sanchez grew up in Hialeah more American than his American friends. He was the star receiver for the Thoroughbreds and went to Minnesota on a scholarship to play football. I'm sure he tried hard, as we all did, to forget that we were Cuban, not because we were ashamed of our heritage, but because we wanted to forget the horrors of Cuba. As we grew up, we realized that we could not, and should not, forget Cuba. Our memories could help us prevent the same mistakes in our new home, the United States. We value the United States as much or more than those who were born here, because we know what it's like to lose our families, our homes, and most important our freedom. We live in appreciation of the United States for welcoming us when our country turned against us. This is why Rick and every other Cuban-American speaks out. We are doing so to save your country and our new home.
I left Cuba with my parents and my sister in October 1965. At 2 a.m., while we were sleeping, the communist military men pounded on our door with guns in much the same way as Elián was removed from his home in Miami. They raided our home looking for anything that they might consider evidence of contra-revolutionary propaganda so that they could send my parents to jail. With God's grace they found nothing. They gave us five minutes to prepare a set of clothing for each, boarded up our house, and left us in the street to find a way to the United States. As we boarded the ship toward the United States, the communist militia stood by asking children questions such as, "What are you going to the U.S.A. for? Aren't you going to miss your grandmother?" Children who began to cry or said they would miss their family and friends were immediately taken from their parents and not allowed to leave Cuba. Is this not truly diabolical?
I understand how hard it must be to see our point of view without having lived our lives. Rick was expressing his views as a Cuban-American, a very patriotic American. We all have the welfare of Elián in our hearts. We all have the welfare of the United States in our hearts.
Dalila C. Pita
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