What a joy and a relief it was to all people of principle and compassion to see Elian back at home in Cuba at last. Ship-wrecked, his mother drowned and cast away amidst the savages of the US Cuban expatriate community – people who have abandoned the country of their birth in order to pursue the vulgar materialism and mindless greed of the ‘American way of life’ – it was touch and go whether Elían would see his home, his family or his friends ever again.
The calculations of the US imperialist government which held him hostage for so many months were between anti-communism on the one hand, and the desirability, from the point of view of the US economy, of opening up trade with Cuba. Although it is the US which imposed the trade embargo on Cuba over 30 years ago, there was no way Cuba would have been prepared to trade with the US while the latter was holding one of its young citizens hostage.
In the end it was the trade interests, in particular the desire of embattled US farmers to sell agricultural produce to Cuba, and that of US pharmaceutical companies to be able to market Cuban pharmaceuticals developed to combat such diseases as meningitis, that tipped the balance, leaving all the US agencies for the propagation of anti-communism, and especially the counter-revolutionary US Cuban community, gnashing their teeth in helpless rage.
We wish Elían well in recovering from the trauma that will have been caused by what has happened to him in the last year, experiences which would tax the resources of any adult, never mind a six-year old boy. He is in the right place – in his home, surrounded by a loving family and a loving community. He has lost his biological mother, which is a terrible tragedy, but at least in Cuba he has his spiritual mother, the great Cuban revolution, to nurture him and cherish him