The Slavery Known as Communism

by | May 3, 2000 | WORLD

Elian's mother knew firsthand that life under slavery is no life at all, which is why she fled Cuba to go to the land of the free.

On Saturday, April 22, the Justice Department sent armed agents to break into Lazaro Gonzalez’s home and seize six-year-old Elian Gonzalez. Members of the press and government officials declared almost unanimously that the government was acting in the best interests of the child, doing whatever it took to deliver him to his father. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, has stated unequivocally that he will take Elián back to Cuba if he receives custody of him. Liberals and “family-values” conservatives have argued that although Cuba might have its problems, the child needs to be with his father, above all else. The loss of the sacred bond that exists between father and son is a fate far worse than life in Cuba, we are told.

If Juan Gonzalez was a known child abuser, then President Bill Clinton would not call for a reunion of father and son. If Juan Miguel shackled his son to a wall and locked him in a room for weeks on end, nobody would say, “What’s important is that he’s with his father.” In such instances, the government properly separates parent and child, recognizing that the parent’s rights end where the individual rights of the child begin. The parent has no right to physically harm the child, through beating, enslavement or any other means. Taking a child to a totalitarian dictatorship like Cuba when one has the option of leaving him in America, constitutes child abuse.

Life in Cuba is demonstrably harmful to human existence. As a communist, totalitarian dictatorship, the Cuban government asserts ownership over its citizens. “He is a possession of the Cuban government,” said Luis Fernandez, a spokesperson for the Cuban government. In theory and in practice, this means that the government and its dictator are free to dispose of its citizens at whim. This includes forcing a child to toil in sugar fields on the verge of starvation, brainwashing him with propaganda and other means of breaking the child’s body and spirit employed by the Cuban government.

There is a term for an individual who is the legal property of another person or a government. He is called a slave. The difference between America and Cuba is the difference between freedom and slavery. It is not, as supporters of Elian’s move to Cuba hold, a minor issue of material prosperity.

In America, Elián would be free to pursue his dreams and make of his life whatever he chose. In America, Elián could be happy. In Cuba, Elian’s fate would be controlled by the whims of Castro and the Cuban government. He would live in a continuous state of fear and hopelessness. Fear, because of the knowledge that everything he values-his life, friends, family and possessions-can be taken away from him at the government’s whim, as they have been for thousands of others. Hopelessness, because he cannot do anything to improve his future outlook. If he speaks out against the government, he will likely be the latest person sent to a government prison, never to be heard from again. He cannot leave-his government forbids it. His father’s presence is no consolation-his father can only watch his son die a slow, painful death. Elian’s mother knew firsthand that life under slavery is no life at all, which is why she fled Cuba to go to the land of the free.

Whatever Juan Miguel’s reasons for wanting to bring his child to Cuba, for the American government to allow this would be to sanction child abuse. The government should act in Elian’s real best interests, and prevent his father from delivering him into the slavery his mother so valiantly rescued him from.

Alex Epstein is a philosopher who applies big-picture, humanistic thinking to industrial and environmental controversies. He founded Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), a for-profit think tank and communications consulting firm focused on energy and environmental issues, in 2011 to offer a positive, pro-human alternative to the Green movement. He is the author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and Fossil Future: Why Global Human Flourishing Requires More Oil, Coal, and Natural Gas—Not Less. He is the author of featuring hundreds of concise, powerful, well-referenced talking points on energy, environmental, and climate issues. Follow him on Twitter @AlexEpstein.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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