Husband-and-wife team Leonard and Amy Peikoff have been working to save Elian Gonzalez from being deported to Communist Cuba. Dr. Peikoff, author of The Ominous Parallels and heir of anti-communist novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand, has defended Elian’s right to stay in America on the principle of individual rights. Mrs. Peikoff is the author of a “friend of the court brief” on behalf of Elian. Both offer unique arguments to defend Elian.
From Mrs. Peikoff’s meeting with Elian:
“I met Elian after he had spent an entire day at the County fair. Most six-year-olds, after that kind of day, would be tired, cranky, and ill-behaved. Elian, however, was friendly, playful, and polite — a really beautiful boy. The close bond between Elian and Marisleysis, his female cousin, was evident — he obviously wants to be with her, and she clearly loves him. She is very affectionate towards him, and yet she does not seem to spoil him. While I was there she kept him from eating some chocolates, explaining that they would spoil his dinner.”
From Mrs. Peikoff’s Brief:
“The choice of what political system to live under is not a matter of ‘subjective bias’ or ‘international politics.’ It is not a decision ‘inappropriately laden with subjective and culturally based value judgments.’ The commitment to liberty is not an ‘encumbrance’. . . . Rather, it is a decision that follows logically upon a proper recognition of the rights and interests at stake. If one has to choose, freedom from communism is more important to the welfare of this boy than living with his father.”
From Dr. Peikoff’s Commentary:
“It would be a sin to deport Elian Gonzalez. To send a child to rot in the prison of Cuba for the alleged sake of his own well-being is criminal hypocrisy. To send him there in order to preserve his father’s rights is absurdity, since there are no parental or other rights in Cuba. To send him there because ‘He needs a father, no matter what,’ is a mindless bromide. Does he need a father who has no choice but to watch his son being broken in mind and starved in body?”
Mrs. Peikoff’s “friend of the court brief” and Dr. Peikoff’s editorial are available from the Ayn Rand Institute.
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