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Volume 2, Issue 1                            University of Houston

Staff Editorial

Gonzalez should be allowed to stay in U.S.

U.S. immigration officials met with the biological father of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez on Monday to take a step forward in an international custody battle.

Gonzalez was found floating on an innertube off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Thanksgiving Day. His mother and stepfather and 10 others were drowned while trying to flee Cuba.

Elian was taken to live with relatives in Florida, and a bitter conflict complete with Cuban demonstrations has erupted. At its core is the battle between the forces of communism and capitalism. Apparently, little has changed since the days of Soviets pointing missiles at our front door and the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

This time, however, history has given younger generations a chance to look back over the conflicts of that era and make judgments regarding the communism vs. capitalism debate. Clearly, we have a better chance of having an objective worldview than our 1960s counterparts.

However, it hasn't changed our opinion. We still oppose communism, and we believe Gonzalez should remain in the United States. The possibility of Gonzalez' living a better life financially, spiritually and socially in America is much greater than it would be in Cuba.

Immigration and Naturalization Services officials are now making a decision on the case, attempting to determine whether Juan Miguel Gonzalez, Elian's father, had a "genuine relationship" with Elian after he and Elian's mother were divorced.

In the meantime, Juan Miguel Gonzalez has said he will not travel to the United States to make his wishes for Elian known, as Vice President Gore suggested he do. "There's no reason for me to go there, and I won't do it," he said.

It would seem if he really wanted Elian back, he would travel to America to achieve that. Until it becomes clear that Elian isn't being used as a pawn in U.S./Cuba politics, and that he would have as much opportunity in Cuba as in America, we believe he should be allowed to stay in the United States.

After all, where in Cuba can one see Mickey Mouse and ride Space Mountain?

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