I have seen and heard of people who, at the end of their lives, became so inflexible their positions, once stated, never deviated. I'd always felt sorry for them and for those trying to present a flexible alternative. But not anymore!

A recent event, highly publicized by our national press and media, has dumped me so far over the right/wrong line, that I am worried about my country, about myself, and how the basic liberties promised by the United States no longer seem to matter.

Let us examine the tragic circumstances by which the six year old Cuban boy arrived in this country. His mother and father had divorced, but shared custody of the child. In fact, a spanish speaking reporter from Miami named Chip Beck was able to visit Cardenas, where the boy had lived. Elian's parents had worked out a co-custodial scheme where the boy spent the week with his father and weekends with his mother.

His mother had gotten to know and been impressed by a Cuban-American named Lazaro Munero Garcia who had illegally entered Cuba in 1999 and subsequently spent three months in a Cuban jail. On his release, he decided to obtain and operate a boat that would take Cubans to the United States for $1,000 a head. After Lazaro's enticement, the mother decided to flee to America and, from what I understand, simply took the boy along without telling her ex-husband what she intended to do. Unfortunately, the boat sank, and everyone aboard perished except two adults and the six year old, who spent two days floating on the ocean on an inner tube. After an almost miraculous rescue, he was released to the custody of a "Great Uncle" living in Miami. It appears that some Miami Cubans detest Castro so much they are willing to make the future of the boy a political football.

I can see no rationale for any of it. As a former navy frogman accustomed to telling the truth and knowing he would get the truth from his fellows, living a life based on principle and integrity, I'd have concluded the only possible alternative would be to return the boy to his paternal father. But my life as the father of three bright, eager to learn children, a man who delighted in them and spent the time to try to raise them well, told me without any doubt that a six year old boy whose mother is dead belongs with his remaining biological parent. Plainly, had my wife, or ex-wife, been accidentally killed, I would have fought and perhaps murdered anyone who tried to deny me the opportunity of living with and raising my children.

I do not understand any man who wouldn't do the same, and believe the lack of the feeling of parental responsibility has caused half the moral decay in America. Reunite the boy immediately with his father in Cuba. Castro is an old man, but still alive because he did not believe everything Americans told him. The Cuban people are a fine ethnic stock, talented and hard working: America needs to establish a working relationship with them, and right now is a good time to start. But stop the bogus politics. Blood is thicker than water, and while a man will instinctively protect other children, he will risk his life for his own.


Sam Orr sorr@metrolink.net
World Traveler
and Philanthrope
(Location Unknown)