School has begun for children around the world, including a small Cuban boy named Elian.
You remember Elian Gonzalez. Last November, his mother fled with him and several others from Cuba to America. Their craft didn’t quite make it to the Florida shore. His mother died. Now, after a bitter international custody battle and an armed raid by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Elian is back in school in Cuba, and, says Reuters, “finally got to give his name during the teacher’s roll call.” All has ended well for the little tyke, apparently.
The story also notes that Elian repeated the daily chant of all Cuban schoolchildren: “Pioneers for Communism, we will be like Che!” If Communism survives in Cuba, Elian can look forward to a future in which he follows the Communist party line . . . or else. Many in Cuba will be paying special attention to his conduct. What if he wants to leave the country? Yeah right. What if, heaven forbid, he decides he doesn’t like life under Communism and chooses to speak out against it? Will he be thrown in jail and even tortured, for saying the wrong thing? Many have been.
One cause of Elian’s uncertain future is dictator Fidel Castro, who was recently given a very warm welcome at the United Nations. Castro and Clinton just happened to bump into each other in the hall, and Clinton didn’t hesitate to shake the hand of the dictator. But it’s okay, because Elian got to answer when his name was called.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.