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(To top of second column)









Response to Mr. Harris' letter


Dear editor:
     After reading the letter from Mr. Harris, I too feel privileged to express my feelings about the Elian Gonzalez episode. In doing this, I don't know Mr. Harris and express no personal feelings towards him. I also respect his feelings and opinion, yet he omitted the real story.  

Juan Miguel Gonzalez was NOT and is NOT Elian's primary caregiver and has NOT been for four years. His mother divorced him and he remarried. The boy was in the custody of his mother

The father showed no interest of coming to the U.S. to even visit his son until Fidel Castro became involved and started ranting and raving. He is the one who said Elian must be returned because he is the son of Cuba (didn't mention Juan Miguel). ONLY, and I repeat ONLY after

Fidel rounded up Juan Miguel's relatives, his wife's relatives and put them on a compound, did he allow (or most likely, dispatch) the father to come to the U.S.. What a farce that is.

Mr. Harris states that the INS SWAT team secured the safety of Elian. Hmmmm, didn't realize he was in danger. The only danger I saw, as millions of Americans (and foreigners throughout the world) saw, was a masked intruder, armed to the hilt,  pointing an automatic weapon at Elian and his cousin.  This was more than danger, this was terrifying and totally uncalled for.

That could have been my (or anyone's) son or daughter. (I do admit that these men and women were acting under orders from Clinton and Reno).

If anything, the mayor of Miami kept the peace and prevented the "LEGAL" demonstrations from getting out of hand. The only individuals using their offices as bully pulpits were Clinton and Reno. (In the case of our attorney general, it is more like a bully puppet).  

The only individuals responsible for the WAY Elian was, in Mr. Harris's words "transferred"-- in my words "abducted"--were Clinton, Reno, Greg Craig (Clinton's personal attorney) and Fidel Castro. Doesn't it seem a little odd that Greg Craig, the president's personal attorney, is now working for Fidel Castro?? Hmm.

There should be no shame targeted towards Elian's relatives who saved him from drowning, who stayed with him in the hospital, who took him into their home and simply wanted a better future for him, in a free country,  as his own MOTHER died for.  I ask again, where was this so-called, loving father, during these four months, hmmm??  

The only individuals who put their political agendas above the higher cause of humanity were the president, attorney general and Greg Craig. Discredit belongs to those who continuously lie to the American people, who use the highest office of our land as if it were a motel and have shamed our nation. No, Mr. Harris, shame on everyone who has  placed their political agenda in front of the "REAL STORY."

So far, the federal government has spent over $775,000 on Juan Miguel Gonzalez, a communist individual from a communist country. Doesn't that alarm anyone that these are our (mine and yours) tax dollars. We pay for his travels, planes and limos, we put him up on an American military base then transfer him to a lavish government-owned private resort and treat him (this communist) as if he is a head of state.  That's the OUTRAGE, that's the SHAME.

I do agree with Mr. Harris, that custody and visitation rights are wrongly dished out in many cases, but the Elian Gonzalez escapade is a totally different ballgame.  Been there, done that has no relevance in this matter.  

Thank you.
George A. McKinney
Pharr, Texas

Local resident expresses approval of reunification of a father and son


Dear editor:

I would like to express in the most profound sense my gratitude to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and to the President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, for their resolve in bringing Elian Gonzalez out of his great-uncle Lazaro's custody, and into the custody of his father Juan, who is the legal and rightful primary caregiver of little Elian. The INS tactical field officers responsible for securing the safety and custody of Elian Gonzalez performed in a most professional manner, and I salute these men and women in uniform. To the men and women in blue on the volatile streets of Little Miami I offer a heartfelt thank you for a job well done in maintaining law and order. I would like to point out that the mayor of Miami has been anything but helpful in reuniting Elian with his father Juan, and has used his office as a bully pulpit for inciting the Cuban-American community to rally around the home of Lazaro, Elian's great-uncle, and in doing so raised the level of tension to an unwelcome level.

The Miami family of Elian bears the brunt of criticism and responsibility for the way that Elian was transferred out of their custody and into the U.S. Border Patrol's hands. This family defied the laws of the U.S. government, and in doing so brought about the drastic actions required by U.S. marshals, actions which were executed not only upon themselves but little Elian as well. The family stonewalled at each and every turn of events and continually raised the bar ever higher during Justice Department negotiations. Additionally, legal rulings viewed unfavorably by the Miami family went unheeded. Shame on this family for their selfish conduct, and shame on the Cuban-American community for their complicity in tactically surrounding the home where Elian stayed. This strategy raised legitimate concerns within the local and federal levels of law enforcement agencies with regard to the fact that the crowd could very well ignite in violence over the taking of Elian from the home of his great-uncle Lazaro.

Allow me to take this opportunity to publicly chastise in the sternest possible terms the "family values" organizations across this nation that have been abjectly silent about the rights of a father to be united with his child. As Yogi Berra might say, "Their silence is deafening!" I have lost much respect for these "family values" groups as they put their own political agendas above the higher cause of a family's right to remain intact. Shame on them. These organizations have brought discredit upon themselves and have diminished their causes in the process.

I have been in Elian's father's shoes, and know from past experiences what it is like to be denied not only rightful custody of my own child, but to be denied visitation rights as well.

As the great state of Missouri has imprinted upon their license plates: S-H-O-W M-E. Yes, indeed, when all is said and done, I want the good folks that are espousing what is in the best interest of little Elian to do just that...SHOW ME, don't tell me.

From the been there, done that club,
Perry K. Harris





Please send your letters by e-mail to ldneditor@lincolndailynews.com or by U.S. postal mail to:

Letters to the Editor
Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

Letters must include the writer's name, telephone number, mailing address and/or e-mail address (we will not publish address or phone number information). Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to edit letters to reduce their size or to correct obvious errors. Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to reject any letter for any reason. Lincoln Daily News will publish as many acceptable letters as space allows. 


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