Has fatherhood awakened in Henry Gómez long-muted cords of empathy for the plight of the abused little Cuban girl who had previously elicited from him only indifference if not disdain? Has he finally realized that her case is not and never was a plot hatched by The Miami Herald to discredit Cuban-Americans? Is he finally able to see that this case is about an abused little girl, abused by her own parents and the regime to avenge itself on her foster father Joe Cubas? We know as everybody does that Henry is rash to make judgments and slow to revise his first (erroneous) impressions. It is always unfortunate when men carve their first impressions in stone because it is much harder to erase them later than to let them stand. But Henry appears, at least, to be trying to make the effort lately. A bigger man would avow his error and radically correct his course. But this, of course, we cannot expect from Henry.
But has Henry caught on at long last? Yes and no. He has never uttered a word of sympathy for Elenita. He has in fact refused to on repeated occasions. That has not changed. What has changed is that he's taken on the villains in this case (two of them at least), Ira Kurzban and Magda Montiel-Davis, and realized that there can be no semblance of justice for anyone in a case where they are involved in representation of Fidel Castro's interests.
Henry has taken on Alex of South of the Palmetto for defending the indefensible — the honesty and integrity of that felonious duo and their napoleonic bully of a client (Rafael Izquierdo, not his master). The Castro-orquestrated conspiracy to obstruct justice unfolding in Judge Jeri B. Cohen's classroom, carried out by these legal miscreants, no one but the most deluded Castroite could fail to see or condemn. Is Alex then a Castroite? No, I'm sure he's not. But he is the product (victim) of a Castroite education and his outlook on the world is framed in the terms that his Marxist professors taught him. Many have been able to free themselves from those bounds; many, in fact, rejected them from the first (Killcastro & Charlie Bravo). Alex's intelligence might have been expected to help him liberate himself from such tutelage, but it has not. He still sees his childhood in Castro's Cuba as idyllic and there is no shaking him in that conviction (I know, because I tried hundreds of times before finally giving up). His childhood in Cuba consisted very much of slave labor for the state, setting the example for other youth which a mid-level Castro official's son is expected to (not so for those at the highest level). Alex told the story once that his father forbade him to be friends with another youth because he was a "gusano." Such a thing, in his peculiar cosmology, is compatible with an idyllic childhood. But just as a white child who was forbidden by his parents from playing with black children would have his perspectives on life seriously compromised, so too must a child raised in Cuba whose father sanctions, indeed, orders the same kind of conduct, based not on color but ideas: "seditious" ideas such as hatred of tyranny and love of freedom. As with sexual abuse, a child thus victimized can be expected to carry those scars all his life, and, what is worse, victimize others himself. This explains why Alex favored the return of Elián to Cuba and now favors the return of Elenita as well.
The reason that Henry once favored Elián's return was because of the influence that Alex once exerted on him. He obviously doesn't exert such influence now because even Henry's affection for him does not trump his revulsion for Magda Montiel-Davis. If Elián's case had ever been heard in an American courtroom with such a cast of characters, perhaps he might have shaken free of Alex's influence and seen the light much sooner.
Henry, who was born in this country and calls himself an "American-Cuban," has the common American bias of expecting justice in a courtroom, which no one raised in Cuba would ever expect. This is why Henry declared that "This case is dirty as hell," and begged Alex in the comments section of SotP: "Please Alex, I know we disagree on a lot of things but you'd have to be willingly blind to not see the strings that are being pulled from Havana on this one."
No, Henry, not willingly blind but unwillingly blind. Alex is a product of his education just as you are a product of yours. In one respect this has been beneficial to him: it made Alex a Cuban nationalist, as opposed to Henry and Val, who are practically annexationists. Unfortunately, however, though it preached ideas such as nationalism which in fact it did not itself practice, the Castro regime also inculcated into Alex the mantra of Vamos a Cuba: there is no difference between life in Cuba and life in the U.S. This is why Alex feels comfortable sending Elián and Elenita back to Cuba. Of course, Alex also confessed that he would never do that to his own daughter, and there is no contradiction there, either. That is also how the elite think and behave in Cuba: privilege for their children and misery for everybody else's.
But this means progress, at least on Henry's part. Now Henry recognizes that the strings are not being pulled by The Miami Herald but by the Castro regime. If The Herald had not aggressively covered Elenita's case when Henry was saying that it was a humbug, he would not be able to say now, as he has said, that her mother and father "are crazy as a bedbug."
OK, Henry, one last try: the parents are crazy; their lawyers are corrupt; Castro is pulling all the strings from Havana — all this you have already admitted.
Are you willing to acknowledge now that you were too obsessed with the reputation of Cuban-Americans and too indifferent or hostile to the plight of the neediest Cuban-American among us?
Do you now support awarding custody to the only other people besides her brother who have ever loved this abused little girl — Joe and María Cubas?
Just one little step more, Henry.