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Focus on News, Politics, etc.
by Jim Wrenn, Editor  (January 26, 2000)

Elian Gonzales and Juan Miguel Gonzales:
Fatherhood-- A state of biology or state of mind?

    Elian's father should have long ago come to the United States to meet Elian and assert his desires as Elian's father.  More than one organization in the United States has offered to fund the expenses for Elian's father and his entire family to come here.  (Indeed, on The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News on 01-26-00, Bill O'Reilley expressed the willingness of Fox News to fund such trip, and others have previously made similar offers.)
    If his failure to come is a choice he freely made, he's an unfit father, in my opinion as a father  A good father would come himself rather than sending the boy's grandmothers.  If the father's relationship with Elian is as close as Cuban authorities claim, can anyone seriously believe that Elian would have preferred that his grandmothers come here instead of his father?
    If, as any good father, he desperately wants to come here to be with Elian to express his desires as a father and his failure to come is the result of the Cuban government having refused to give him permission to do so, then his reputed desire for Elian to be returned to Cuba could not reasonably be deemed to be his own decision.  Even if the Cuban government has given him permission to come, his reputed desire for Elian to be returned to Cuba could not reasonably be deemed to be his own decision unless the Cuban government has either (a) given him permission to bring with him his entire family or (b) adequately assured him that after arriving in the United States, his entire family would be free to join him in the United States if he were to decide to remain here rather than taking Elian back to Cuba.  Therefore, unless and until Elian's father were to come here to meet Elian and express his choice for Elian, then Elian should remain in the United States with his relatives in Florida.
    John McCain is right in analogizing the situation to the time of the Berlin Wall.  If a mother were to have died while thrusting her son across the Berlin Wall onto the side of freedom, few, if any, in the United States (or in what would have then been West Germany) would have seriously suggested that such boy be taken from West German relatives ready, willing and able to care for him and then returned to the captive father in East Germany.

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