The end is near to the mockery of justice that has been playing in Circuit Judge Jeri B. Cohen's courtroom for the last 6 months. She has, in effect, granted Izquierdo 5/7ths custody of Elenita already, reserving the other 2/5ths for the Cubases. This is an exact reversal of her previous living arrangements whereby she spent weekdays with the Cubases and week-ends with the Izquierdos and brings the helpless child that much closer to the lost of her freedom, which her birth father was sent to the U.S. to facilitate.
Judge Cohen also requested that Rafael Izquierdo not just "snatch up the girl and get on a plane to Cuba" but collaborate in making a "smooth transition" in custody. Since this request strengthened Izquierdo's hand and would not have been made unless Cohen intended to afford him the opportunity to do precisely that at his discretion, Izquierdo was more than pleased to give his word, as if his word meant anything in this case.
The judge does not want Elenita to be told that this new arrangement will lead to her definitive separation from her brother and her foster parents and her removal to Cuba. Although Joe and María Cubas begged the judge to stop telling lies to the child about her future, Cohen refused because the lies are a narcotic that will keep her more or less quiet until the day when the truth is flung at her like a bucket of cold water.
The lie that she is being forced fed for the duration of her stay here and until the moment she is drugged and bundled off to Cuba is that she will not be separated permanently from her brother or foster parents if returned to Cabaiguán. She can tolerate the presence of her birth father in her life only if she is assured that he will not be able wrench her from the family with whom she has bonded, the only real family she has ever known, and the brother who was her protector in both Cuba and the U.S. and the only constant in her life.
But the truth is inconvenient for Judge Cohen's purposes and she is not in the least wary about admitting it.
What the judge does not ask herself is: Why is this lie central to Elenita's emotional well-being? Why is the evolution of her "relationship" with her birth father, such as it is, dependent upon maintaining this lie at all costs?
Elenita will only come near her father if he is separated from him by a protective barrier such as shields us from the animals at the zoo. This protective barrier is her belief that she will not be taken from her brother and foster family. Remove this barrier -- as, in fact, Judge Cohen intends to remove it and soon -- and all you have is a frightened child face to face with a feral animal and reacting to it as anyone would react to a feral animal at close proximity.
Clearly, she is not ready emotionally or in any other way to accept her father if that means severing forever her ties with her brother or the Cubases. The need for a protective barrier from Izquierdo should indicate to Cohen that it is the child's relationship with her brother and foster family which is the most important thing in her life, the island of normality in an all-encompassing sea of disfunctionality on which she was left stranded by her crazy mother and feckless father.
Addressing the Cubases' lawyer Alan Mishael, the judge inveighed that "[i]f we lay a bombshell on [Elenita] and say, 'You know, you're not going back [to the Cubases],' she falls apart" and then "you come back and say, `Look, the child fell apart.' I'm not going to get sucked into that trap. I'm one step ahead of you guys."
For Judge Cohen the truth is a "bombshell" and delicate ears should never have to hear it while palliative lies can assure that the bomb which Cohen intends to plant under her will catch her unawares; for that is Cohen's ultimate goal: to sacrifice her as quietly and with as few embarrassing complications as possible. The lie has only one discernable purpose: to lead rather than drag the lamb to slaughter. If lying to the child achieves this end, Judge Cohen will sanction the lie in order to facilitate the triumph of even bigger lies.