Elián González, now 20 years old, is saying some very inconvenient things about American immigration policy that contradict the old-school, right-wing Miami Cubans who have dominated South Florida politics for decades (a group Fidel Castro once called "Fascist American Gangsters.")
Anyone who grew up down here will remember the little 6-year-old boy who landed on the shores of Broward County in 1999 while his mother perished at sea, as well as the ensuing international custody battle and the media circus surrounding the case, in which González was turned into a political pawn. His distant relatives, Miami Cubans who took in and cared for the little boy, refused to turn him over to be returned to Cuba under Castro, saying it was his mother's wish. Armed U.S. agents eventually raided their house and seized the boy so he could be reunited with his surviving parent.
González, now 20, has spoken out against the immigration policies that allowed his ordeal to occur.
González criticized the Cuban Adjustment Act, a 1966 U.S. law that allows Cubans who make it to the U.S. to be granted residency, when he spoke to Cuban newspaper Girón: "I suffered the consequences of that law in late 1999. The basic rights included in the Convention on the Rights of the Child: the right to be together with my father, the right to keep my nationality, and stay in my cultural context, were violated," he said. The Cuban government has argued that the policy encourages people to undertake dangerous journeys at sea.
(I'd say, though, the real purpose of U.S. Cuban immigration policy is to prevent, as much as possible, Cuban socialism from developing. Note that Cuba has 99 percent literacy rates and infant mortality rates on par with the United States, but people who leave and come to America are classified as "political refugees." But those fleeing Haiti -- where the U.S. has armed its dictators from the 1930s through the 1980s, and then, after failing to rig an election in 1990 opting to overthrow the elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide, brought to power a military junta that imposed a reign of terror [killing thousands] that was exponentially beyond anything seen by Castro's Cuba. And all of those fleeing such terror could be caught at sea or land and eventually returned, despite massive repression by the junta.)
González also spoke out on the case of the Cuban Five, in which five Cuban spies defected to the U.S. to infiltrate terrorist groups in Miami backed by the Clinton administration -- terrorist groups that had blown up hotels and killed tourists in Cuba. The Cubans made gestures toward the U.S. offering the U.S. information on terrorist groups. The U.S. accepted this information but then used it to figure out who the moles were inside the Cuban organization. It then tried all five men in a kangaroo court for the justice department and wouldn't let the case leave Miami, leaving all five men in prison (one has since been released).
But Elián González is brainwashed because he lives in Cuba, where everyone is brainwashed, so all of the above are just details to be ignored, right? He just needs to escape and consume copious amounts of American propaganda for a couple of decades!