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Posted: 5/14/2002 12:24:17 PM EDT
As I know I've mentioned in other posts, I earned my daily bread as a Security Officer/ Armorer with a Federal Agency. Had an interesting experience about two months ago, that I wanted to share. One night awhile back I was assigned to assist an FBI SWAT unit in providing security for some goings on at our agency. There were three of them, all decked out in vests, helmets, and special weapons. They all were wearing the custom .45s that FBI SWAT has atandardized. In addition one of them had an H&K SMG, and one of the others was carrying what I soon realized was an M4gery. The barrel was clearly 16 inches, and the front end had a muzzle brake, not a flash suppressor. I was so busy scoping out the AR that it wasn't til I was on my way home that I realized who the guy with the H&K was. He was the @#&$% who snatched Elian Gonzales from the fisherman in that famous photo. It's just as well that I didn't realize who he was when I was with them. I probably would have made a nasty crack and gotten my tail into hot water. Oh yeah, all three of the FBI SWAT guys who were there were as arrogent as the guy in that picture looked. Hopefully I'll not have to deal w/them again.
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 12:30:08 PM EDT
You mean the guy who helped rescue Elian from his crazy relatives and allowed him to re-unite with his own [b]father[/b]? That FBI guy? Small world...
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 12:34:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/14/2002 12:35:26 PM EDT by The_Macallan]
Originally Posted By DScott: You mean the guy who helped rescue Elian from his crazy relatives and allowed him to re-unite with his own [b]father[/b]? That FBI guy? Small world...
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This guy?? [img]http://www.photojournalism.org/images/sn1.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 12:40:28 PM EDT
I thought he was a U.S. Marshal?
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 12:42:01 PM EDT
[b]That photo was priceless....for Castro![/b] 'Look how I bend the Yanquis to do my will! You may escape my little island, but the stupid Yanquis will bring you back to me.' I hate everyone who was associated with that little escapade. Clinton, Reno, the works. I bet Jimmy 'Where's My Friggin Nobel Peace Prize' Carter isn't going to go within a hundred miles of the Gonzales Compound! Eric The(Bastards!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 12:44:16 PM EDT
Yeah, we should send as many little kids as possible to Cuba. [whacko]
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 12:47:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/14/2002 12:53:35 PM EDT by shootnfish]
The guy wasn't FBI. The raid was conducted by a joint task force made up mostly of Border Patrol Agents and INS Agents (along with a select few of our local Metro Dade SRT/patrol officers and Miami PD). The local Marshals and FBI offices had minimal "public" participation. Might be FBI now, but wasn't then. And I keep fishing, hoping to find another kid and sell my boat as a collectors item, and move up...but so far only dolphin, tunas, and 'hoos. SNF Edited to add...also a few DEA guys were in as well. Basically anyone with the "correct equipment" was invited.
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 12:57:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 1:06:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Aimless:
Originally Posted By DScott: You mean the guy who helped rescue Elian from his crazy relatives and allowed him to re-unite with his own [b]father[/b]? That FBI guy? Small world...
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I agree, if my (nonexistent) wife took off with my (nonexistent) son to another country and I obtained a court order from that country requiring my son to be turned back over to me because I'M HIS FATHER I would hope that law enforcement would step in to return my son to me if her relatives refused to turn my son over to me.
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Thank you!
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 1:14:03 PM EDT
If it wasn't the guy, it was his twin brother. Oh by the way, the word we get up here at the federal level was that THERE WERE FBI PEOPLE up there, wearing ID from other agencies, because Reno didn't trust the other units (particularly INS) to get the job done efficiently; but she knew she could count on Louis Freeh's boys and girls. And for those of you who forgot, Elian's father's wife and other family was being held hostage in Cuba so that the father would bring him back. Best evidence we have is that the father would have stayed here with Elian if things had been allowed to sort themselves out, and the Clinton/Reno Gestapo hadn't been sent in. Sorry-- when they swear you in you don't abandon your personhood!
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 1:28:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/14/2002 1:28:42 PM EDT by shooter69]
Originally Posted By DScott: You mean the guy who helped rescue Elian from his crazy relatives and allowed him to re-unite with his own [b]father[/b]? That FBI guy?
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Spoken like a true liberal! Funny, how I seem to know what Dave will think about certain issues I haven't seen him mention here before. I'm psychic! [:D]
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 1:46:38 PM EDT
Shamayim, you are correct. There were Bureau Agents there, just not outwardly "public" in appearance. As far as the whole situation is concerned, I think it's time to move past it. Being a native here, I've seen it all, over and over again. I've lived through the Mariel and the Haitian boatlifts of the early 80's, the "exodus" of rafts in 94 (actually caught 22 dolphin including a 43 pounder while waiting for the Coasties to pick up a 5 person group we found floating out in the stream on one of those rafts)[:D], and the Elian thing. At the time, no one thought it was funny when I went into Home Depot and asked if they had one of those "human chain-link fences" so I can keep people out of MY yard [;D]. But no matter what side you were on, or if you didn't care about it whatsoever, the situation IS concluded. If it was an adult that was found, they would have just added him or her to the numbers of recovered rafters that year, and that would have been the end of the story. But this was just a little kid, who survived a trip that I wouldn't want to make, but he still belonged to his family, and that battle (which there really shouldn't have been) should have been between family members, not among people who have agendas related to whether or not Castro stays in power. They are adults and can fight their own battles without involving kids. For the record, if it were my son, I'd have him back, no matter what governments were involved. As far as the guy that participated in the raid goes, I can tell you from experience, that you don't get to choose whether you like the job or not when you have an assignment like that. You just do it, and keep your ass and the asses of your buddies from getting killed, and get out. If you want to bring politics into it, go out and vote, or find another job. Don't blame the guy from the raid, one day he may save your life, especially if you have opportunity to work with him. Rant mode off...sorry about the slightly off topic reply here, but us natives get all bent out of shape concerning S. Florida issues...but you all already know that. [stick] SNF
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 2:12:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 2:25:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shooter69:
Originally Posted By DScott: You mean the guy who helped rescue Elian from his crazy relatives and allowed him to re-unite with his own [b]father[/b]? That FBI guy?
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Spoken like a true liberal! Funny, how I seem to know what Dave will think about certain issues I haven't seen him mention here before. I'm psychic! [:D]
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Sorry Gavin, it's the parent in me, not the liberal that speaks in this case. Fuck the politics [i]and[/i] the politicos, if it was MY son I'd want him back. Period. Florida has their Cubans, we have our Mexicans, and all the bullshit just keeps rollin' in like waves before a typhoon. (Whatever that means... just sounded good. [:D])
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 2:27:46 PM EDT
You're right. Now how hard is it to actually punch the stupid "chads" out of the ballots? As far as I know I never had a problem voting, but I might be "different" from everyone else. I can't wait to see what the "new" system does to confuse the locals. It's amazing that anyone ever got elected in this state before that election. The funny thing is, that I voted by absentee ballot because I was up in Maine hunting. I don't know if my vote was ever counted...but the Maine news was hilarious with their comments about Florida, they just couldn't figure out why this was going on. I guess they haven't been here before. But they had something to report on. [argue] From the State of Confusion...I mean Florida... SNF
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 2:32:52 PM EDT
You're all wrong....... That agent in the "snatch" photo was a Border Patrol Agent on the BORTAC tactical/swat team..
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 2:32:59 PM EDT
DScott, I couldn't agree more. That "@#&$% who snatched Elian" did a great service by helping returning the son to his father. Look at the picture carefully....saftey is on and finger is off the trigger. End of story.
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 2:44:03 PM EDT
In normal circumstances the kid goes with the closest family member. These were not normal circumstances. Do you guys even understand why the family was upset?
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 2:45:36 PM EDT
Woo Hoo. Thanks for the Backup Lawdogkms.[:D] I can't tell you how many times this has been discussed, and most say the guy was FBI. Take it from someone who "might" have been there. [;)] Border Patrol (the only locals with a trained mobilized SWAT team on alert at the time). SNF
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 2:58:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MisterGreens: DScott, I couldn't agree more. That "@#&$% who snatched Elian" did a great service by helping returning the son to his father. Look at the picture carefully....saftey is on and finger is off the trigger. End of story.
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Agreed. I don't like Castro, and I wouldn't mind if his people strung him up, but the kid's mom was dead and his relatives in Florida seemed more interested in thumbing their nose at Castro than what was best for the kid. He should be with his father. I think any parent would feel the same. IMHO, legrue
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 2:58:29 PM EDT
Obviously those guys in Miami weren't FBI because Elian was not burned to death and nobody waxed the fisherman who was clearly armed holding contaband in his arms.
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 3:03:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: You mean the guy who helped rescue Elian from his crazy relatives and allowed him to re-unite with his own [b]father[/b]? That FBI guy? Small world...
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You're kidding right? I hope so. Elian's father phoned his relatives in Miami to inform them ahead of time that Elian and his mother were coming - this is verified by phone records, and INS now admits this. Also, his father was basically under house arrest, with Castro's agents in his house during all phone calls to make sure he said the "right" thing.
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 3:15:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/14/2002 3:20:10 PM EDT by DarkHelmet]
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 3:19:09 PM EDT
Best header I saw to this picture was: "Drop the Chalupa!!"
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 3:25:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SNorman: Elian's father phoned his relatives in Miami to inform them ahead of time that Elian and his mother were coming - this is verified by phone records, and INS now admits this. Also, his father was basically under house arrest, with Castro's agents in his house during all phone calls to make sure he said the "right" thing.
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If anyone really thinks the father wanted to stay in Cuba and continue working as a doorman (or wtf) in that worker's paradise, they would have to be on crack. The million dollars he was offered to stay was irrelevant because he never had a choice in the first place. That guy was surrounded, and it continued when he came here, even "alone" with the lawyer (hired by the Cuban government). The Clinton administration aided and abetted. From my perspective, you wouldn't turn a child over to a parent who was abusing him, and that is exactly what sending him back to Cuba is: abuse. The rights and opportunities his mother died to bring him to have been cynically revoked.
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 3:26:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: Sorry Gavin, it's the parent in me, not the liberal that speaks in this case. Fuck the politics [i]and[/i] the politicos, if it was MY son I'd want him back. Period. Florida has their Cubans, we have our Mexicans, and all the bullshit just keeps rollin' in like waves before a typhoon. (Whatever that means... just sounded good. [:D])
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The good thing about all of this is that it got more people out to vote in Florida. [:D] All's well that ends well.
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 7:03:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shooter69: From my perspective, you wouldn't turn a child over to a parent who was abusing him, and that is exactly what sending him back to Cuba is: abuse. The rights and opportunities his mother died to bring him to have been cynically revoked.
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Yes, she was so concerned about bringing him those rights she was willing to kill him to do it. Wierd, ain't it? But as you say, all's well that ends well. [:D]
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 7:18:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shamayim: There were three of them, all decked out in vests, helmets, and special weapons.
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Federal Agents use "Special Weapons"?! Does SteyrAUG know?
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 8:42:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shooter69: From my perspective, you wouldn't turn a child over to a parent who was abusing him, and that is exactly what sending him back to Cuba is: abuse. The rights and opportunities his mother died to bring him to have been cynically revoked.
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Sending him back to Cuba would be abuse? I beg to differ. Clearly he may have more chances for a better life here in the U.S., but the bottom line is the kid needed to be with his father. Sending the kid back to his father isn't exactly what I would call abuse. What is so special about this one kid when there are thousands just like him in Cuba? Why don't we just let everyone from Cuba move here then, so they could avoid all the abuse they are experiencing in Cuba? I live in South Florida and, wait, maybe that has already happened.
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 8:59:45 PM EDT
I wasn't gonna say anything since the story is so old, but some of you guys are so laughable in your childish hypocrisy I couldn't resist. Hey, we don't want no illegal Meskin kids or Chinamen kids, but that cute Elian gets to stay because we hate Castro so much we're willing to kidnap a child to buy the Cuban votes. So what if phone records showed the father knew of the trip? So what if Castro used the father and situation to tweak the U.S.? What right does this country have to take a kid from his father, especially as a political pawn? If anyone of you say that kid deserved to be in this country, then none of you better spew any crap about illegals crossing the CA, AZ, TX, CAN, etc. borders. Think before you type and prove yourselves ignorant. JFHC.
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 9:26:26 PM EDT
Perhaps I can bring a different perspective to this. My father was a battalion commander in Berlin, Germany in the early 80's, during the peak of the cold war. While the whole Elian saga was playing out, I asked my father, "What if this had happened in Berlin? Let's say that an East German woman, divorced from a minor apparatchik in the East German government, decided to take her child and escape to West Berlin. In the process, she is killed just feet from Checkpoint Charlie, and the child rushes into the waiting arms of the U.S. Army MP's. The child has distant relatives in the west who want custody of him, but his father in East Berlin says that he wants his son back. Even if we suspect that the father is under some kind of duress, would we have given the son back to him?" My father (a staunch conservative Republican), thought about it for a moment and said, "It would be a tough call but in the end, I think we would have sent the son back. The bottom line is, that is the boy's father and he wants his son back." Do I think the situation sucks? Certainly. But I would ask those conservatives out there who were up in arms about the decision to send Elian back, "Do you really want to set a pecedent of deciding child custody disputes based on the political ideology of the parents?" That is a slippery slope that I, for one, would rather avoid. Just my $.02
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 10:00:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/14/2002 10:03:38 PM EDT by shooter69]
Originally Posted By Buddha: So what if phone records showed the father knew of the trip? So what if Castro used the father and situation to tweak the U.S.? What right does this country have to take a kid from his father, especially as a political pawn?
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I have news for you: parents don't always get custody of their kids. Family courts decide all the time to award custody to other family members. They quite often grant custody to non-US parents, in fact having one of the best records in the world. Americans have it much tougher going overseas, even in Europe which is a minefield on this issue, with many states picking up the tab to defend terrible parents. We are fair on the issue. Janet Reno and Clinton's Justice Department decided to circumvent that procedure [u]for the sake of politics[/u].
If anyone of you say that kid deserved to be in this country, then none of you better spew any crap about illegals crossing the CA, AZ, TX, CAN, etc. borders. Think before you type and prove yourselves ignorant. JFHC.
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The United States government has a different view on the matter, as it did throughout the Clinton administration as well. Illegals from Cuba ARE treated differently when they reach our shore. I'm glad that's the case, and I do have a problem with ECONOMIC MIGRANTS from other countries (democracies among them) breaking our laws and flooding the country IN THEIR MILLIONS. The congress has also recognized that for historical, political and geographic reasons Cuba is very different. Child custody is a minor part of the issue as a whole. Don't like it? Work to change the policy.
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 10:02:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: Yes, she was so concerned about bringing him those rights she was willing to kill him to do it. Wierd, ain't it?
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Cuba must really suck, eh?
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 10:13:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/14/2002 10:17:04 PM EDT by lonegunman]
If your scurvy ex-wife snatched your only son and ran off to another country would you like your child back? If he was being held by some retarded, drunk relatives for personal gain would you be happy with that?? Communist country or not, I would want my kid back, if his living in a poor country upsets you send him and his dad some cash and shut-up.
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 11:03:02 PM EDT
I wonder how many people flee Kalifornistan every year?
Link Posted: 5/14/2002 11:12:23 PM EDT
I remember that incident. It was the final nail in the coffin that holds the 10th Amendment.
Link Posted: 5/15/2002 4:42:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/15/2002 4:49:21 AM EDT by Guess]
First, the mother damn near killed her kid when she took him along for her little trip. Wasn't she an Einstien? Second, she took him without authority. Third, the child should be with the surviving biological parent. What do you not understand about that? If your wife took your kid to Cuba without permission, wouldn't you want your kid returned? What's the difference here? Cuba's a bad place to live? In that case, maybe we should bring all the children in third world countries to the US. Why don't we all start a "Liberate Cuba For The Children" campaign. Maybe Jimmy Carter can start the campaign by stuffing a few 6 year-olds in the wheel wells of his airplane.
Link Posted: 5/15/2002 5:52:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By shooter69:
Originally Posted By DScott: Yes, she was so concerned about bringing him those rights she was willing to kill him to do it. Wierd, ain't it?
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Cuba must really suck, eh?
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I'd agree that Castro sucks, and communism sucks, but somehow most Cubans manage to survive. Cuba doesn't suck, I hear it can be pretty nice in some ways. If she, and the many thousands who also fled the country, were such a freedom loving individuals, why don't they stay and throw that bastard out? Oh, I almost forgot- she DIED trying to float across the ocean on an *inner tube*, and almost killed her 6 year old child doing it. [/sarcasm]
Link Posted: 5/15/2002 5:54:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/15/2002 6:03:55 AM EDT
And quite a few fascists, apparently, who could give a shit about a parent's rights to be with their kids. [:P]
Link Posted: 5/15/2002 6:32:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By lonegunman: If your scurvy ex-wife snatched your only son and ran off to another country would you like your child back?
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If that was the case why did he assist in the plan? He remarried and Elian was not his "only son," so again you don't know what you are talking about (but you will fit in perfectly here).
If he was being held by some retarded, drunk relatives for personal gain would you be happy with that??
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Whatever their problems are you don't know that they were only holding him for personal gain. Show me on what you base that. With his mother and stepfather being lost I have no doubt that they would have cared for the boy [u]had the media vanished[/u], and I've never seen that disputed.
Link Posted: 5/15/2002 6:34:42 PM EDT
To the person who emailed me with this, thanks. I also believe that it gets to the heart of the matter. [b]"...But you know, among Americans, you use the word 'custody' and 'parental care' and stuff like that. It doesn't exist in Cuba. "And then you're forgetting, too, that the American legal system is not sending back a boy to his father. "The American legal system is sending back a boy to a dictator who leads a regime that four years ago sunk a tugboat, killing 11 children, in front of the Cuban harbor. That's the point." -- Alina Fernandez, the daughter of Fidel Castro, who had to go through an elaborate song and dance, creating an "international incident" to get her own child out [/b]
Link Posted: 5/15/2002 7:05:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MisterGreens: What is so special about this one kid when there are thousands just like him in Cuba? Why don't we just let everyone from Cuba move here then, so they could avoid all the abuse they are experiencing in Cuba? I live in South Florida and, wait, maybe that has already happened.
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Instead of moving everyone in Cuba here, I suggest getting rid of Castro. You'd probably see some of them go back. Oh wait, we tried that and it failed, so we should accept a communist Cuba. The Carter/Clinton logic.
Nimrod1193: But I would ask those conservatives out there who were up in arms about the decision to send Elian back, "Do you really want to set a pecedent of deciding child custody disputes based on the political ideology of the parents?" That is a slippery slope that I, for one, would rather avoid.
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No, I'd like them to be decided in a family court, but that was ignored by Janet Reno. The same situation has happened the other way around with people trying to bring their kids over here, and the government instead of giving full assistance has worked against them (some children of US servicemen left behind in Vietnam comes to mind). You're missing the point. Juan Miguel's idealogy isn't the issue. The issue is that the Justice department AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL (unusual) used immigration law (when you consider our immigration mess, and all the apologists saying don't send them back, that's a real hoot) to circumvent a normal custody case [u]which was taking it's course[/u]. He would have been able to testify to anything that needed to be said and may very well have been granted custody. Unlike the rest of the world, which does a terrible job of honoring it's treaty obligations with us on family disputes, such a thing is fairly common here. Castro only sent the father ONCE HE CAME TO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE CLINTON ADMINSTRATION and they promised to return him and the boy. Clinton wanted to end the embargo and normalize relations with Cuba as one of his last acts (perhaps when the 2000 election was over). The above was simply paving the way. Thankfully Gore did not win, and Clinton had no opportunity.
Originally Posted By TimJ: Lotta closet liberals here.
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Really?
Link Posted: 5/15/2002 7:19:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: I'd agree that Castro sucks, and communism sucks, but somehow most Cubans manage to survive. Cuba doesn't suck, I hear it can be pretty nice in some ways.
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Wrong. If people are risking their lives to get away from it THEN IT MUST SUCK. You know, all those people who risked their lives (and the ones machine-gunned down) getting over the wall in East Germany must seem like fools to you. East Germany was very cultured, it sure didn't suck, right? Good things just like Cuba: nobody starving, free education, health care, nice cheap seats to the concert hall. Survival seems like par for the course with you. How pathetic.
If she, and the many thousands who also fled the country, were such a freedom loving individuals, why don't they stay and throw that bastard out?
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Why didn't those that fled Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and other TRULY REPRESSIVE REGIMES do the same, Dave? Back at ya, boyo. Tell it to the Jews. You have an interesting sense of logic.
Oh, I almost forgot- she DIED trying to float across the ocean on an *inner tube*, and almost killed her 6 year old child doing it.
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Yeah, she and her husband did die AFTER THE BOAT THEY WERE ON started to sink in bad weather and they were left with an inner tube. He had gone to the US before and came back to bring them over (which he attempted after being imprisoned for months for the crime of returning). I don't think that travelling 90 miles in a boat is an impossible dream, unless of course maybe it's a cuban boat, in which case like every other decrepit mode of transport in Communist Cuba, sucks. Please do not besmirch her memory any more by implying that that was how she intended to take them to the United States ("trying to float across the ocean on an *inner tube*") in the first place. Those who don't know the story among us might believe your BS.
Yes, she was so concerned about bringing him those rights she was willing to kill him to do it. Wierd, ain't it?
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Are you saying that it made her a bad parent, perhaps one who shouldn't have custody of her child? If so [u]then neither should Juan Miguel[/u] for participating in the dangerous venture and not notifying the authorities to prevent it (after Castro got involved he sure did an about face though). No double standard here with you. [rolleyes]
And quite a few fascists, apparently, who could give a shit about a parent's rights to be with their kids.
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Agreed. Soon after the Elian story the case of Giselle Cordova came along. The fascists at the (left-wing) National Council of Churches, who were so instrumental in working for Elian's return to his father in Cuba, were asked to likewise assist in Giselle's being reunited with her father here in the US (a defector). They said they could not do that because of their "limited resources," and that "commenting on individual cases" would not be productive. Reno wasn't interested in helping either. Thank god for the Bush adminstration keeping on them. The little girl arrived last June. And there are others, but they're just on the wrong side of the water to get any help. So spare me the family values speeches - if the Clinton adminstration was only looking out for parental rights they would have demanded reciprocity from Castro, after the many requests/demands he made of them. Clearly, that was not their [red]true focus[/red] in the case.
Link Posted: 5/15/2002 11:56:49 PM EDT
MINE THE BORDERS ! THEN ADD SOME GUARD TOWERS! HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE 23 INCURSIONS ON THE SOUTHERN FRONTIER BY MEXICAN FEDERALIZES IN 2002? YES ,THEY SHOT AT OUR BORDER PERSONAL! NOT AT ALL UNCOMMON THESE DAYS!
Link Posted: 5/16/2002 6:53:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/16/2002 6:58:19 AM EDT by DScott]
I think you missed my point, Gav. If Castro and communism weren't present in Cuba, Americans would be vacationing there right now. People live in worse conditions. It's a nice little Caribbean island ruined (for now) by Castro. No arguement there. The presumption of custody after a parent dies is to the surviving parent, in this country at least. Simple. To lose parental rights is a *big deal* and requires extraordinary circumstances. I didn't know that there were different standards for parents if they live on other countries. I wasn't aware of all the other details you mentioned, and they really don't concern me. My point is that Dad deserves custody, and all the politics and associated bullshit (both for and against) were not about the child's welfare but about each side's self-serving agendas. Elian was a pawn in the true sense of the word, his fate decided by lawyers and politicians. Yech! As to Elian's or his father's life in Cuba? Frankly, I don't believe anything I hear about what it was like or what it will be like. Again, the phrase "self-serving agenda" comes to mind. Edited to add: Again, we'd probably agree more than disagree on this issue, certainly as far as the need to apply policy fairly and evenly. For instance, Clinton and Reno both acted badly, as did probably everybody else here. I just want a little consistency among those professing to support "freedom and liberty" but then don't support a father's right to the custody of his 6 year old son.
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