MARINA DEL REY, CA — The plight of Elian Gonzalez is an American issue not just a Cuban-American one, said a spokesperson for the Ayn Rand Institute.
“Elian’s case is fundamentally the conflict between the individual and the collective,” said Amy Peikoff, J.D. “Cuba, led by Castro, insists that Elian belongs to the people and the state; the United States, by contrast, is based on the supremacy of the individual. This is why Elian should stay in America: he will be free here — free to exercise his fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Peikoff said that the “parental rights” of Elian’s father are non-existent.
“In Cuba, there are no parental or other rights,” said Peikoff. “The only issue that should matter to the courts is whether or not Elian will be free to live his life — whether life in Cuba is harmful to his development. How can anyone consider returning a boy to a country that explicitly abrogates individual rights and punishes independent thought?”
Peikoff argued that the outcome of Elian’s case should be of paramount importance for every American no matter what their race, ethnic origin or political affiliation.
“If the courts send Elian back to Cuba, it will be a slap in the face to every American living or dead — a repudiation of the very principles upon which this country was founded,” she said.
Recently [April 12, 2000] Peikoff accompanied Walter Polovchak, the world’s youngest defector, to a meeting with Elian Gonzalez. She is the author of a “friend of the court” brief defending Elian’s right to remain in the United States.
Copyright Ayn Rand Institute. All rights reserved. That the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) has granted permission to Capitalism Magazine to republish this article, does not mean ARI necessarily endorses or agrees with the other content on this website.