Fun_People Archive
31 Mar
A Letter of Apology to Elian Gonzales from Michael Moore

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 100 16:32:33 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: A Letter of Apology to Elian Gonzales from Michael Moore

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-

March 31, 2000

Dear Elian,

Please forgive me for writing to you in English.  Three semesters of
Spanish, and I can't remember a thing!

Also, please forgive us Americans for standing back and allowing the child
abuse you are now experiencing. Normally, in this country, we arrest adults
who put children through trauma and exploitation. Normally, we arrest adults
like the Mayor of Miami who call for violence and incite a riot. Normally,
in this country, we arrest terrorists and either jail or deport them.

Unfortunately for you, we are doing none of this.  I apologize. I can only
imagine what you are going through. You do not deserve this treatment.

You are being told that your mother died trying to bring you to freedom.
I am so sorry to have to tell you, that's not true. The Cuban court granted
your father custody of you, and your mother decided to kidnap you. She
placed your life in horrible jeopardy by putting you in a leaky, overcrowded
raft that eventually sank, killing everyone but you. History is filled with
many people who risked their lives escaping to another country because,
had they stayed, they would have been imprisoned or killed.

That's not what happened in the case of your mother. Her life was not in
jeopardy. Her son -- you -- was in no danger. The worst that could be said
is that, in Cuba, you were in jeopardy of receiving free health care
whenever you needed it, an excellent education in one of the few countries
that has 100% literacy, and a better chance of your baby sister being born
and making it to her first birthday than if she had been born in Washington,

The truth is your mother and her boyfriend snatched you and put you on that
death boat because they simply wanted to make more money. I can understand
why they wanted a better life. Cuba is a poor country. America, from 90
miles away, looks like a rich country.  The majority of people who have
sailed to this country in the past have come for the same reason. Often,
they have come because they did not like living in a country, such as Cuba,
where you cannot freely elect your president and your basic rights are
limited. I can understand that.

But your mother placed you in a situation where you were certain to die on
the open seas (as the rest did) and that is unconscionable. It was the
ultimate form of child abuse, and I see now why the Cuban judge did not
give your mother custody.

Now you are with "relatives" in Miami. Normally, in this country, when we
say, "I'm going to stay with the relatives," we mean brothers, sisters,
aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents.

You are with a "great-uncle" and a "second cousin." It's not that they
aren't blood-related, but, let's face it, in our country they and the third
cousins-once removed are usually not sitting at the Thanksgiving table and
are only rarely heard from usually when they need bail money or part of
the inheritance. But in our country, no "relative" replaces the parent. A
brother, cousin or "great-uncle" who holds a child against the will of the
parent is committing a major crime.

You must really miss your daddy! I hear he's coming soon. Those "relatives"
are trying to prevent him from being with you. I know, that doesn't feel
like love, does it? Please don't take it personally. They do love you. They
love having you to toss around in front of the TV cameras so they can
further their own political agenda.

You are only six, so I know you can't understand what all of the politics
are about.  That's okay. Some day, you will. In time, you'll read how these
former Cubans, who are abusing you, instead of staying in Cuba and fighting
for freedom like our ancestors did for this country in 1776, they turned
tail and ran to Miami. Once here, they began demanding that we Americans
fight their fight for them.

What did we do?

Something stupid! We fought their fight for them! We based our entire
foreign policy in this hemisphere on one thing -- eliminating Castro.  We
tried to assassinate him. We sent "troops" to invade at the Bay of Pigs.
We prevented medicine and food from being shipped to Cuba.  When I was
nearly your age, we almost blew up the world over Cuba and Castro. Can you
believe that? We had become as insane as those ex-Cubans in Miami!

And we've stayed that way for forty years. We're still wacked-out over
Cuba. Last year, we fined an American citizen $10,000 because he went down
to Cuba to tune pianos! It's illegal in this "free" country to travel there.
Loopy, huh? We've been driven crazy 'cause that we still can't get rid of
Fidel Castro. He's out-lived nine of our presidents!

We have allowed these ex-Cubans with the yellow stripe down their backs to
operate numerous terrorist missions from South Florida.  These same
ex-Cubans were the ones who broke into a place called Watergate (that
eventually brought down a president), ran drugs for arms operations (that
brought down a popularly-elected government in Nicaragua), and, according
to some Americans, were behind the assassination of our president, John
Kennedy (that puts us on a slippery slope we're still sliding down).

Now, these very ex-Cubans who were afraid to stand and fight Castro have
suddenly found the courage to! That's right, they have made it
clear that they will fight, with violence, any federal officers or troops
who are sent in to enforce our laws (those outrageous ones which say a son
should be with his father).

And you are caught in the middle of all this. I am so sorry. I wish there
was something I could personally do. I will write to our Attorney General
( and tell her to stop this child abuse. I will encourage
others to do the same. I wish I could convince our vice-president (who's
running for president) to help, but he too has decided to abuse you by
using you for his own political gain. The governor of the state you're in,
Jeb Bush, is the brother of a man running for president. He wants to
use/abuse you, too. I just want you to know that 80% of the country doesn't
like either of these men.

I guess that's the silver lining in your little cloud. The majority of
Americans are sickened by the way you are being treated. Please understand
that bad things are often done in our name and with our money. Often, there
is little we can do as the choices on our ballots are nearly as slim as
the choices your father has on his.

It's not easy being six -- anywhere in the world.  I know this all too
well. My country, the one your mother thought you should be living in,
allows its six-year olds access to guns, and a little six-year old girl in
my hometown was killed last month by another six-year old. This is the
world we adults have created for you. This is the world I promise to do my
best, in my own small way, to change.

I pray you'll be playing catch soon with your wonderful, loving daddy on
a Cuban baseball diamond. By the time you're 18, long after Castro and the
Bushes and all this nonsense is gone, maybe you can come back to America
on your own free will.

The Tigers, I can assure you, will still be in desperate need of some good

Michael Moore

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