There is no doubt that despite the constructive statement on the issue of the kidnapped boy, Elián González, made by the State Secretary at the House of Representatives on Thursday, the Maffia, the extreme right in Congress and even the U.S. government --as proven by facts and by the Administration obvious inability to act-- are betting on Cuba’s weariness. They believe that our forces will be exhausted, that the horrendous injustice will be set aside, that our people are beginning to show signs of weariness. At least, that is what a press dispatch recently read and various American media also reported.

They really do not know our people!

An unprecedented offensive in terms of ideas has been unleashed by the masses in our country. It is something new, amazing and unexpected. The imperialists who are used to committing all sorts of crimes and misdeeds and to go unpunished could not even have imagined it. Such a struggle in the field of ideas and ethic between a very powerful country and the people of a small island sitting hardly 90 miles off its coasts was never before seen, at any other time or place on Earth. The world watches in growing astonishment the display.

It is not only a struggle for the return of a child; it is a struggle for the right of every child in the world not to be kidnapped, not to be taken away from their closest and more legitimate relatives. It is intended to avoid their being uprooted from their culture, from the homeland where they were born and where they lived their earliest and most tender part of their lives. It is to prevent their separation from those who were teaching them their first letters, or lovingly caring for their health or from their first friends and playmates. The struggle is intended to prevent that any child is taken away from the first images of the world that filled their eyes and from that piece of nature that enlightened their imagination.

This child, who had finished his kindergarten as a happy boy, was prevented from concluding the first semester of his first grade in grammar school. These are and will forever be inseparable parts of any human being’s life, something that cannot be replaced by anything or anybody.

It was too obnoxious a crime, too abusive, too arbitrary. It is for that reason that it hurts all parents, all relatives of any child in Cuba, in the world and even in the country where he is being held in captivity, that is, the United States of America. There are many points of disagreement among people in the world but there are things in which everyone believes, unanimously, and they are the innocence, fragility and helplessness of a child.

This child is being subjected to cruel psychological tortures. He is the victim of shameful exploitation and manipulation. He is the target of thousands of camera flashes that show him as a political trophy, as if he were a human scalp wrenched from one of the millions of American natives exterminated in that country. Likewise, they try to buy him as the son of any of the millions of slaves who for centuries were sold in public auction by those who occupied, colonized and built that nation.

This time what counts are not the body but the soul of that child. It is insulting to the world, particularly to the overwhelming majority of that world made up by poor people, to think that their children can be bought with visits to Disneyland or by stuffing them with all sorts of sophisticated toys and playing gadgets produced by consumer societies. The coarse idea that parental authority can be decided on the basis of a country’s wealth or poverty is particularly irritating and it hurts human sensitivity.

Worst still is the repugnant process undertaken to destroy that child’s soul with the involvement of experts and sophisticated techniques and even brutal methods aimed at obliterating from the mind of the helpless child all vestiges of love and the memory of his father, his little brother and his four grandparents. Those who are holding him captive, either allow or prevent telephone communications at will thus torturing not only the child with their pressure, coercion, yelling, noises, arm-twisting and perceptible threats aimed at jeopardizing communication but also his father and grandparents anxious and expectant on the other side of the line.

What is the purpose of all this? To frighten the child, to provoke the boy’s rejection to his father and grandparents so that he would come to fear the moment to communicate with them. The purpose is that the child rejects his family and to that aim they resort to methods similar to those used by the famous scientist [Ivan Petrovich] Pavlov to create conditioned reflexes in dogs.

He was even forced to write his name on a document with printing letters that even a child who cannot read could draw on a paper; the document dealt with the appointment of lawyers and a request for American citizenship. While an American youth must be 18 years old before he or she can vote for a candidate to President, a lawmaker, a mayor, a state judge or any other more or less important elected official, a kidnapped Cuban boy needs to be hardly six years old to choose a homeland or to decide whether or not he wants to return to Cuba, and --more outrageous still for a such a young child who cannot command his reason, yet-- to his father and his true family, that which so tenderly wished for him and were able to have him after great sacrifices and many fruitless efforts, and who cared for him until that age. In summary, this is a grossly kidnapped child who is also the victim of psychological torture and even physical abuse on a daily basis.

The authorities in that country have been asked, time and again, to immediately put an end to such crime and to return him ipso facto to his family in Cuba. It is consistent with the international laws and also with the American and Cuban laws. There is no way to justify the adjudication of this case to the U.S. courts for lengthy, endless and illegal procedures whose effect would be to allow the kidnappers the realization of the barbaric act of destruction of the boy’s mind.

The U.S. courts not only lack jurisdiction over the case but also the possibility to solve the problem with the necessary urgency to avoid irreversible consequences for his health. The solution of this problem is the full responsibility of the United States government.

Anyone in that country who were so stupid as to think that the Cuban people might grow tired of waging this struggle for justice would actually be certifiable and ready for care in a madhouse. There are many values and principles at stake in the struggle for the return of that child, which we will never renounce.

The U.S. authorities have gone too far in this case, despite the fact that they were advised from the beginning of its consequences. Our government said that if that child were not returned to his family and homeland as soon as possible, an enormous battle of national and international opinion would inevitably break out that would be extremely costly for that country’s prestige.

From the beginning our people was told that it would be a long struggle, that our forces are colossal but that we need to manage them wisely with utmost resiliency and save energy in order not to loose strength. The greatest difficulties we had the first days while trying to limit participation in the marches and demonstrations to those sectors and people invited. However, with the passing of weeks there is much more discipline and our experience has grown tremendously.

There is still something else of paramount importance: the revolutionary conscience in our homeland is stronger than ever before. Actually, in the course of this historic battle the people’s energy and our ways and means of struggle have multiplied. Today, we are much stronger than we were in the first days of December.

An already high and growing number of more experienced cadres are sharing in the tasks. With every passing day our rallies are better organized and more efficient. Large numbers of children, teenagers, youths, blue-collar workers and intellectuals in all age groups, artists, combatants and organizers are working with great energy, talent, ability to communicate and persuade which our visitors find amazing and in which our country takes legitimate pride.

That is the result of a seed sown by the Revolution and a social and human work that can be seen anywhere. The whole nation has become an open stage for demonstrations, marches and rallies while the most significant issues in politics, learning, national and international culture have been the focus of roundtables. Professional communicators, artists and debaters, or just ordinary but resourceful people with a natural uncultivated talent are showing up in all places.

Cuba is discovering itself, its geography, its history, its cultivated talents, its children, its youths, its teachers, its doctors, its professionals, its enormous human work after 40 years of heroic struggle resisting the mightiest power that has ever existed. Cuba is more self-confident than ever. It is aware of its modest but fruitful and promising role in today’s world. Its revolutionary, humanist and universal ideas are its invincible weapons. The nuclear arms and the advanced military and scientific technology, the monopoly over the mass media and the imperialist political and economic power are helpless in this increasingly exploited world which is growing restless and rebellious as it becomes fearless and stronger while defending itself with ideas.

The combat for the return of the kidnapped child became the first episode of a much longer struggle. The abduction and torture of that child marks the moment when the great battle ahead of us was unleashed to definitely remove the causes of such a cruel and painful event.

What would be the use of the simple return of the child if tomorrow, the day after or just any day of any week, or any month of any year, another Elián, dozens of Elián, hundreds and thousands children like Elián could be lost in the troubled sea while in an illegal journey to the United States separated from one or both parents without their consent or any possibility of a legal return?

How many equally painful tragedies might have occurred in the 33 years that the Cuban Adjustment Act has been in force? That is a law which rewards the violators of the rules set forth for a legal and safe migration process, many of whom would never be granted a visa to travel to that country and who usually include women and children in their hazardous adventures. Who knows the number of lives that may have been lost due to the encouragement of illegal migration by the United States in an attempt to destabilize our country? All this after they decided it was not enough, or they forgot, the efforts made from the first years of the Revolution to deprive the country of its professionals and skilled personnel by inciting the massive migration of teachers, professors, doctors and others to hamper our economic and social development. This they did by capitalizing on possibilities of wages and material living conditions that a neo-colonized country, exploited and kept in underdevelopment by the United States for over half a century was not in a position to offer.

Would it be necessary at this point to recall that among the major crimes committed against Cuba is the way in which 14,000 Cuban children were abducted and surreptitiously taken to the United States with the support of their own parents? It was done by planting terror with an infamous slander elaborated by the American Intelligence Services about the eventual suppression of that same parental authority that they so cynically insult today.

Aggressions and threats to our national security as well as terrorist actions; blockade and economic warfare, subversive plans, ideological diversion, sabotage, internal destabilization; the Helms-Burton and Torricelli Acts as well as numerous amendments to tighten the blockade in order to submit our people by hunger and diseases are all of them elements that hinder our development and encourage migration. International treaties signed both by Cuba and the United States of America consider all of these acts of genocide, even in peace times.

We have the right to live in peace, to have our sovereignty and our most sacred interests respected. Forty years of infamy have not broken our willingness to struggle. We are neither tired nor shall we grow tired.

Ten outstanding intellectuals suffice to organize a roundtable on political or cultural subjects, and there are certainly tens of thousands of them here.

In every corner of our homeland, at every historic place, every trade union, committee or chapter of the mass organizations, every school and educational, scientific and cultural institution are ardently claiming, practically demanding, the possibility to organize a rally as part of this struggle. There are many thousands of people and a task that will take years to accomplish.

The Cuban Adjustment Act must be removed!

The Helms-Burton Act must be removed!

The Torricelli Act must be removed!

The amendments surreptitiously introduced in many U.S. Congress legislations to intensify the suffering of our people must be removed!

The whole blockade and the criminal economic warfare against Cuba must cease!

The threats, the subversive campaigns and the destabilization plans must cease!

In due course, since it is not our main objective at this time, although it is our people’s right and one that we shall never renounce, the illegally occupied territory of Guantanamo must be returned to Cuba!

Meanwhile, the demonstrations that began as part of this historic struggle for the return of the kidnapped child, who has become a symbol of our nation’s rights, will not cease for one day. Likewise, the battle of ideas, the building and strengthening of the soundest revolutionary conscience as well as the efforts to achieve the highest possible learning and the most encompassing and comprehensive culture will never stop in our country while there is an injustice to amend, while the imperialist system exists and even after it has ceased to exist because it will always be necessary to fight for a more humane world with more solidarity.

Our struggle will adopt many different ways and styles. The masses will always be ready. There will constantly be messages so that the forces and their energies will continue to accumulate and be saved for every minute when they are necessary and decisive.

Some people grow impatient and wish for all different kinds of more drastic measures, even violent ones to save the child and free him from his sufferings. What the traitors fond of annexation are craving for is a pretext for an armed conflict between the United States and Cuba. But, that superpower is only powerful in terms of weapons; in the field of ideas it is an orphan, it is helpless. Acting with wisdom and guided by ideas we will attain our goals.

We will tear off their loathsome hypocrisy, their gross lies, their revolting and selfish imperial doctrines on whose basis they intend to rule the world. They will end up without the minimum credibility required deceiving anybody in this country or anywhere else on Earth.

And while this peaceful battle of ideas goes on, our life will go on, too. We shall continue our great efforts to overcome the difficulties, to achieve the economic and social development of our nation except if the impossible and insane adventure were one day undertaken to forcibly destroy us, thus interrupting the normal course of our lives. In that case, the aggressors would not have one day of truce or quiet, and nothing would ever be normal for them either.

Our children and teenagers will continue to have their space for the healthy joy and recreation that can nourish their minds and lives. All of our people will have equal right and space for joy as they continue to nurture their moral and spiritual values that will help guarantee the indispensable material welfare that we can conquer with our intellectual capacity and work.

Nobody will give up! For a Cuban revolutionary patriot to grow weary in this struggle would be more shameful than to surrender.

We shall see who carries more reason, more motivation, more will to fight!

We shall see who gets tired first!

We shall see who is more resistant!

We shall swear it tomorrow in Baraguá, before Maceo’s immortal glory!


Editorial published in Granma daily on February 18, 2000.