Thursday, April 8, 2010

Elian Gonzalez, A prideful Cuban

Every day I check my e-mails from my three accounts. The other day when I went to check my yahoo account and a feature article caught my eye. In fact, it was the headline that grabbed my attention and then the picture anchored below the headline. The picture showed a teenage Elian Gonzalez.

Can we say a blast from the past? I did not realize that much time has passed since the controversy surrounding Elian's custody battle.

Back in 2000, Elian’s mother fled from Cuba with her then six-year-old son. Unfortunately, she drowned in her attempt to make it to the shores of America, but her son Elian survived. Eilan's story swept the nation and he capturated the hearts of many people.

As much as it was family custody battle over the young boy, I remember it being more of a custody battle between nations of Cuba and the United States. Trials were held to determine whether Elian should be returned to his biological father in Cuba or should he be allowed to stay in the United States with his mother's relatives.

Eventually, Elian’s father won custody and took his son back to Cuba. Now, ten years later the article Cuban Government releases photos of a teenaged Eilan Gonzalez, reports his development as a prideful Cuban. He reportedly joined the Young Communist Union and he is viewed as a national hero.

What is interesting to note is that Elian’s story exemplifies how people are influenced and institutionalized by their government. His mother died in attempt to provide a different way of life for her son. Now, he has become the embodiment of Cuba's triumph over the United States according to the article.

Ultimately, the situation sheds light on the fact that we all are a product of society in which we evolve from. I wonder how different Elian would be if he was raised in the United States. Would he have the same ambitions, dreams, or goals?

(photo courtesy of yahoo)

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