[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Please Let It End

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Please Let It End

The much-ballyhooed U.S./Cuba child custody battle....OK so it's just the Herald and us bored bloggers making a big deal about it....appears to be coming to a conclusion.

It couldn't come soon enough.

Is it just me, or is judge Jeri Cohen sort of a Larry Seidlin-light? She's not as upfront or obnoxious in seeking the limelight, but her facial expressions and occasional opinionated outbursts have gotten quite irritating. Anyway that's beside the point.

I've arrived at the conclusion that if the girl's father really wants to take her back to Cuba, go right ahead. Please. Leave us alone already. I'll be shocked if Judge Cohen rules for the girl to stay. That may sound insensitive, but let's face it, one girl's return to Cuba isn't going to change anything regarding Cuba. Neither would her staying here accomplish much in the larger picture.

Judge Cohen's eventual decision to allow the father to take the girl back to Cuba will be met with the same interest the case has been garnering, which is pretty much with a shrug. Most Cuban-Americans obviously won't be pleased, but for those few Cuban-Americans who love to diss the "historic" hard-liners and secretly reveled in the fiasco that was Elian, realize this: you aren't going to get any big embarrassing reaction this time around. I know that will come as a major disappointment, but as I like to say, "Forget About It"!

Elian Part 2, this is not.



Blogger Ziva said...

"Neither would her staying here accomplish much in the larger picture."

True, but the difference to this poor little girl, her brother, and his adoptive family will be enormous. How can you measure the loss of a sister, or a child? As for her Cuban father, he already let her go when he ignored them. He has another family he has to feed. I wonder if he'll get a special bonus for his family for defeating the State of Florida? Judge Cohen should have been removed from the case for prior prejudicial statements, statements she's more than affimed during this case when she commented on the politics(I paraphrase)..."I hate this, I really hate this." I've got news for her, we all hate it, we hate that Cuba is held captive by a murderous dictator and his thugs. We especially hate the family separations he's caused, we really hate that Cuban children are considered property of the state, and I personally very much hate that because one judge refuses to recognize the negative impact the state of Cuba will impose on this girls life in Cuba, she is most likely going to grant custody to her father and sentence this child to a life of oppression and slavery. Unlike Elian, she's had her day in court, but just like Elian, she has not received any justice.

12:07 AM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...


I agree with you. Perhaps it's a case of "once bitten, twice shy", but I'm tired of these custody issues. If the father is deemed fit in court, then I'm afraid we'll have to swallow this one. And like I said in my closing statment in the post, this is not a repeat of Elian, however I will not invest time and/or energy to fight for what is essentially a family issue. Elian and his family in the U.S. unfortunately never got that chance in a U.S. court.

As a father myself, I do feel bad for the little girl, but sometimes you have to let people make their own decisions, good or bad.

9:49 AM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Ziva said...

That´s exactly the problem Robert- in Cuba the state makes the decisions. Too bad this "father" doesn't have the balls to stand up in court and defect. Too bad the judge doesn't have the moral clarity to give the foster family custody. She could grant visitation rights to the father and let castro inc. chew on that one, but no...that won't happen, this is the judge that would like to deport all Cubans back to Cuba. I know we mostly agree Robert, but this infuriates me, it is just so wrong. And who knows how many similar cases there are with kids being sent back to Cuba that we never hear about?

12:30 AM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger C.L. Jahn said...

"And who knows how many similar cases there are with kids being sent back to Cuba that we never hear about?"

I know. The answer is "none." This kind of case really doesn't come up very often.

The bottom line is that the child belongs with her father, and the truth is that the ONLY reason there is any issue in this case is because this father lives in Cuba. If the father were from Canada or the Bahamas or Grenada, the kid would have been put on a plane and sent home months ago.

Politics simply should not be a consideration in child custody cases.

10:48 PM, September 22, 2007  
Blogger Ziva said...

c.l. jahn - Would your sentiment be the same if this were a Jewish child being returned to Nazi Germany?

10:02 PM, September 23, 2007  
Blogger C.L. Jahn said...

While there are numerous faults in Cuba's communist regime, genocide is not among them. There are no concentration camps designed to liquidate millions of people.
When you try to incite people's emotions by calling up inappropriate comparisons, you are not serving the cause of justice or righteousness. Children deserve to be with their parents, and families deserve to be give reasonable accommodation.

6:11 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...


Please allow me to interject for a moment...

Why does Cuba have to have concentration camps in order to justify your argument? Isn't lack of basic freedoms, routine incarcerations and long prison sentences for disagreeing with the regime bad enough?

7:35 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Ziva said...

c.j. I didn´t say Cuba had concentration camps designed to liquidate millions of people. You didn´t answer my question, so I´ll ask it again; would you advocate sending a Jewish child back to Nazi Germany?

1:49 AM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger C.L. Jahn said...

Living in Cuba is not a death sentence; being Jewish in Nazi Germany WAS. So no, the rest isn't "bad enough." It's morally dishonest to liken this to turning a Jew over to Hitler.

No one in their right mind believes that this little girl will go to prison on her return to Cuba. Since she's NOT going to be incarcerated for a long prison sentence, it's senseless to argue those points.

The bottom line here is parental rights. If parents have the right to make decisions on how their children should be brought up, then deciding to bring up a child in Cuba is the father's right. I look at all the Cubans who have come to Florida; they are fine, upstanding people for the most part. They endured hardships, yes. But their childhood experiences do not meet the criteria of child abuse simply because they were raised in Cuba.

The Nazis were actively murdering all Jewish people; are you claiming that the Cuban dictatorship is murdering all the children returned from the US? Because such claim is necessary to give your question any relevance in this conversation.
So I will answer your stupid question: of course I would not send a Jewish girl back to Nazi Germany to be exterminated. But since this isn't the situation in this case, I have no problem saying this child belongs with her father, even if that means they will live in a communist dictatorship.

Beyond this, both of you are missing the big picture: these children who return to Cuba do not forget their experiences in the US; they will tell their friends and classmates of the wonders that can be found across the Florida Straights. She will undermine all the propaganda, as does Elian. It's small, slow and quiet, but it's also inevitable. They have tasted freedom; they will inspire those at home to seek it out.

8:00 AM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

"Living in Cuba is not a death sentence".

Sure. Just ask Oscar Elias Biscet who is rotting in a Cuban prison because he had the guts to speak out for human rights. Just ask any of the prisoners of conscience in Cuba, many of whom are suffering long prison sentences for the crime of exercising basic human rights of expression. Just ask the victims of the 13 de marzo tugboat who were mercilessly drowned by Cuban authorities.

Just ask any Cuban in the street in Miami whose uncle, father, brother, cousin were executed by Che Guevara.

Ask any of those individuals if living in Cuba wasn't (isn't) a death sentence.

Actually, Cuba's incarceration rates during the early stages of the revolution were higher than those of pre-WWII Nazi Germany. Surprised? Do a little research and you won't be.

But that's not the point. By using the argument that the numbers and methods used to exterminate in Nazi Europe blow away anything in Cuba, you're simply downplaying the severe injustice suffered by tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of innocent Cubans. Numbers shouldn't matter. Does it take 6 millon dead Cubans to realize that castro and his regime is brutal?

Back to the girl. As I already stated, if her father wants her that bad, fine take her back. But it would be a very sad day for her and for freedom-loving people. People in Miami have been "undermining the propaganda" about Cuba for years. Visits, phone calls, letters, etc. Cubans on the island know that the system in which they live under is repressive. But there's not a whole lot you can do when the CDR lurks at every street corner (next to the doctors). Unfortunately, the regime has benefited from the useful idiots out there who have helped to spread the propaganda that Cuban-Americans have tried so hard to undermine.

8:56 AM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger Ziva said...

c.l. So for the sake of parental rights, of which there are none in Cuba it is necessasry to return this girl to a father she doesn´t know, who has shown little regard for her well-being in the past so she can, like Elian be a poster child for propaganda. Maybe that´s your idea of serving her best interests, it´s not mine.

8:58 AM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger C.L. Jahn said...

No "parental rights" in Cuba? That's simply not true.
As for "no interest," that hasn't been proven yet. And it may not be possible to prove such a thing. Where's the evidence? He didn't call the US from Cuba? Yeah, right.
It's a shame you can't make a case without twisting the facts or flat out lying, but then that's been a problem with this case from the beginning; the basic facts point towards reuniting the girl with her father. But that doesn't support the narrow political agenda favored by the fanatics of the Cuban exile community, who prefer martydom over justice.

1:01 PM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...


Careful. Your lack of knowledge on Cuba is starting to show.

Parental rights in Cuba? Let's see...

- Parents in Cuba can take their kids to any school they deem appropriate, as long as it's the one the State assigns and approves.

- Parents in Cuba can feed their children whatever they can...as long as it's on the State-issued ration card.

- Parents in Cuba have the right to allow the State to let their kids go to "summer camp" involving hard labor once they turn a certain age (I believe it's 11).

Get my drift? You can look it up if you don't believe me.

Please. This isn't about a political agenda or being a "martyr". This is about people that have lived the system first-hand who know tons more about this than you or I.

1:44 PM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger Songuacassal said...


In a typical liberal fashion the accusations fly and assumptions are spat, and all that is achieved are hollow and empty statements like: "No "parental rights" in Cuba? That's simply not true."

Care to back up how it is "simply not true?" It's shocking that a simple truth is not supported with a simple sentence or two.

Who are you demand evidence without giving evidence?

Do you not see that in your own writing you make stereotypical claims without realizing who you are talking to and what is really being said.

If you have nothing to contribute, then please save yourself the time and don't enter the conversation.

There are better, more efficient, ways to feel good about yourself.

1:06 AM, September 26, 2007  

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