Having tired of harping on Oscar Corral's disgrace (which I, for one, will never tire of), Henry Gómez is now suggesting at Herald Watch that the long-suffering 4-year-old Cuban refugee girl whose father wants to sacrifice her to Castro on an altar of cowardice and self-interest, is in fact a secret weapon being deployed by The Miami Herald and the Castro regime, which have joined in a conspiracy to discredit Cuban-Americans by appealing to their better natures in the hope that they will do for her what they did for Elián, and, against the tide of popular opinion, champion her right freedom.
We have refuted his ridiculous contentions several times over the last 5 months, all the while marvelling that he could be so depraved and lacking in human empathy as to blithely drop this child into a bottomless well in order to be spared the censure of his Anglo neighbors and judges, who, on every survey and opinion poll, have never needed an excuse to look with contumely on Cuban-Americans. They hate what we represent — success; we are too "uppity" for their taste; no one ever taught us to behave as their inferiors. But, of course, there are exceptions to Cuban dignity, and Henry is obviously one. Their approval — which, incidentally, he shall never have, no matter how obsequious or accommodating — is necessary to him in order to feel like a real American, or, an "American-Cuban," as he styles himself. The happy resolution of his identity crisis matters more to him than the life of this child. Nothing can be more monstrous or unnatural. Or, rather, one thing can: to admit it publicly without one drop of shame.
What is so terribly wrong about defending another Elián, or a thousand Eliáns?
All other Cubans I know are proud of the part they played in the Elián affaire. Popularity is never a basis for principled action, nor should it be its end. The victory that our enemies obtained through the use of foul and underhanded means doesnot vindicate their position or justify their action — not then, and certainly not now. The history of Elián in Cuba has given the lie to the credulous or stupid who accepted at face value the regime's assurances that the boy would not be used as a political puppet, which is a motive that they reserved for Cuban exiles but disdained to attribute to Castro. How patently wrong they were! How manifestly right those who oppossed his illegal extradition to Cuba!
At first, I believed that the Elián affaire had proved a traumatic experience for Henry which he did not want to relive. Now I am of the opposite opinion. I now believe that Elian's repatriation was a victory for Henry, that he actually championed it from the first as he has the Cuban girl's, and even celebrated his kidnapping at gunpoint as the vindication of his position. His position now is consistent with his position then. To hold any other position would be to admit that he was wrong about Elián, and that he will never do. Henry should rather all the children of Cuba perish than have to admit he was wrong. If there is a word for that kind of evil, I, for one, don't know it.