Havana and Miami

May 1, 2000

The ongoing discussion about the fate of Elian Gonzalez has polarized Americans. Many believe he should be returned, while others believe he should stay in this country. But whatever position you take on the matter, you and all Americans should be concerned about the fuzzy thinking used by lots of people to justify their position. To prove my point, let me pick on media commentators and talk about their willingness to create a moral equivalence between Miami and Havana.

Broadcasters and pundits favoring the return of Elian continually argue that it might even be better for him to return to Cuba. Katie Couric said the other day: "Some suggested over the weekend that it's wrong to expect Elian Gonzalez to live in a place that tolerates no dissent or freedom of political expression. They were talking about Miami." Cute, real cute. But let's hope that she and her other colleagues don't really believe that political expression is greater in Havana than in Miami.

Newsweek magazine reported that Elian's prospects in Cuba would be "limited." Nevertheless, they argued that life in Cuba would have its virtues. "In some ways young Elian might expect a nurturing life in Cuba, sheltered from the crime and social breakdown that would be part of his upbringing in Miami."

Last week in my commentaries I quoted Fidel Castro's daughter who reminded us that at an early age children are taught the marxist view of history from Cuban history books and sent to "boarding schools" in the countryside where the children study half a day and then work in sugar fields until dark. No, Havana is not like Miami. Life is hard and political freedom does not exist. Media commentators should know better.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.