Alberto Quiroga of the blog Havana 1950-1960 has written an eloquent appeal to Florida Governor Crist on behalf of Elenita (actually Elizabeth), the 5-year Cuban girl whose very life is now at stake in a Florida courtroom. Although labelled a "custody case" (since when is a foreign government a party in a custody case?), this is in fact a capital case whose probable sentence of banishment to Cuba is tantamount to death. The fate of Cuba's children should concern us all; for they are not exempt from the predations practiced by the regime on the citizenry. But Elenita's case is unique because she is free and a legal resident of this country. Returning her to Cuban jurisdiction — for there are no "parental rights" in Cuba — would be tantamount to reviving the Dred Scott Decision (1856). Either all who live in these States are free or they are not. There is no reason that a person's age should be grounds to deny him freedom any more than his color, sex or previous condition of servitude.
Every Cuban exile, Cuban-American or even "American-Cuban" who has an ounce of dignity should either write his own letter to Governor Crist or affix his name to Alberto's eloquent appeal. I am informed that Ziva will also be writing her own letter, which does not surprise me since she has been a consistent advocate on Elenita's behalf from Day 1 (one of the few), as I have noted on occasion.
Really, the day we cease to feel compassion for a helpless child, or consider even one child of our country to be expendable, let our tragedy consume us on that day and finish us off for good; for we shall deserve no better fate:
Dear Governor Crist:
When my parents decided to leave everything behind in Cuba, the month of November 1960, it was because they had heard the rumor — which came to pass not long afterwards — that Cuban parents would lose their right of "patria potestas," that is, their basic human rights as parents over their children. They were willing to sacrifice all they had worked so hard for, in order to save their children — myself, my younger sister, and one on the way, from an abusive "father," the head of Cuba's totalitarian state, the hopefully soon-to-die fidel castro.
In Cuba parents have no rights over their children. Period.
Yet, Miami-Dade Court judge Jeri B. Cohen has assiduously chosen to ignore this un-ignorable fact, gleefully — because her prejudice against anti-Castro Cuban exiles is so blatant that it, too, cannot be ignored — just about awarding custody to a man who had little interest in this child, even if he is the biological father, because supposedly as her father, he has "rights." He would have them, if he were NOT in Cuba.
If that turns out to be the case, this child will be put in an abusive situation, abused by a statist, totalitarian system whose sole purpose is to psychologically mold children's vulnerable minds and turn them into the equivalent of castroite hitler-youth.
As one of my fellow bloggers asked, "Cui bono?" Who benefits here? Certainly not Elenita. In fact, far better arguments against Judge Cohen's unjust decision have been posed here, and I urge you or your staff to examine them: http://reviewofcuban-americanblogs.blogspot.com/
Yes, the emotion comes through... it comes through because to my dying day I will not stop being grateful to my parents, who showed their true love for their children in whisking us away from the claws of a tyrant. They knew what was best for their children, unlike Judge Cohen, who seems to be doing everything possible except look after Elenita's best interests.
I urge — indeed, I implore the State of Florida to do the right thing here and appeal this gross miscarriage of justice.
Here's the contact information for Governor Charlie Crist: