The Elian Family differences

I know you guys are probably sick to death of this topic…
But…humor me here…
All along, I have had a question that I have never seen addressed/answered.

If Elian’s father’s last name is Gonzales, and the great uncle’s last name is Gonzales…
they are obviously related. I think I even heard someone say they were.
So, the people in Miami are the father’s people.
Then…what is the reason for the animosity between them?
(I’m sure it predates the sea rescue.)
And, why is Juan Gonzales so vehemently against meeting with the Miami family?
That was the thing that the great uncle Lazaro wanted from the start, and it was never addressed in the media as to why Juan was so dead against it.
Just to talk…this would be too difficult for him?
What’s he afraid of?

If anyone knows why this animosity exists, please let me know.
Inquiering minds & all, ya know?

That’s because one branch of the family emigrated and the other decided to stay. That’s the simple explanation.

Typically, people who leave Cuba are regarded as traitors by those who stay; in fact, they’re derisively referred to as “gusanos” or worms–At least, in public. Privately, however, many Cubans have close ties with their relatives across the sea.

On the other hand, those who leave Cuba (for Miami, mostly) have a vested interested in perpetuating the image of those left behind as oppressed relatives who would flee if given a chance. While this may be true for some, it clearly was not the case with Elian’s father, who (again, in public) wants to live in Cuba, despite numerous opportinities to stay in USA. Thus, it’s safe to conclude that the bad blood may go back a long way…Then again, they may not have a choice now that their roles have been defined for them by forces out of their control…

Oh, let’s see. Lazaro got Juan Miguel’s kid, refused to give him back, had him make a videotape saying he didn’t want to go back to his dad, and publicly accused him of child and spousal abuse.

I can’t imagine why he doesn’t want to see him. [/sarcasm]

Well…that’s NOT what I was asking…
Juan Miguel has been unwilling to talk to the family when he was in Cuba.
And he STILL won’t meet with them in public.
And, evidently, Lazaro & Juan’s dads must be brothers.
I think there is something else going on there that we don’t know about.
I care, because I don’t like nebulous, unanswered things.

And, I’d like a difinitive, SERIOUS reply on the obvious long-standing animosity.
Provided anyone knows, of course.

Well, on what basis are you stating that Juan Miguel was unwilling to talk to the family when he was in Cuba? From the news reports I read, they did speak frequently in the first month or so after Elián arrived in Florida. When he was asked on Nightline if he had anything to say to Lazaro and family, his response was “tell them I say hello… and please give me my son back.” It was only after it became apparent that Lazaro wouldn’t give him back that the relationship turned hostile. (And understandably so, IMHO.)

Well…if I missed something, I stand corrected.
But, I wasn’t aware that he WAS talking to them.
I knew he was talking to the boy.

All I’ve seen was them wanting Juan to come to Miami, or somewhere between
there & Washington.
And him refusing to do that.
And, before you say “why should he have?”
I have just had a sense all along that there was “bad blood” between them.
I mean, his ex-wife was coming to this country, assumedky to stay with the Miami relatives.
Otherewise, how did this kid even end up with them?
I mean, can a 6 year old, who’s been stranded in the ocean, remember name,
address & maybe phone # of people?

I’m guessing she had called them beforehand.

Anyway, just seems like it’s a long running thing.
Them being related & all, you’d think they’d WANT to see each other, ya know?

[QUOTEI mean, his ex-wife was coming to this country, assumedly to stay with the Miami relatives.[/QUOTE]

Actually, my understanding is that his ex-wife was coming to this country to be with her boyfriend (who had come to this country previously, and had returned to Cuba to get her and Elian.) It’s my further understanding that she did this without notifying Elain’s father, in violation of their joint custody agreement.

So, Elian’s father is in the position of having his ex-wife steal his son and take him to a foreign country, where some distant relatives then claim him and refuse to return him because the country he lives in is ruled by someone they don’t like. Family values, I guess.

(The mother’s boyfriend also drowned in the crossing.)

No offense Natalie but if it’s taken you this long to realize Juan Miguel and Lazaro are related (something the press has been discussing since the saga began), I’d say you probably missed a lot.

My understanding is when he was pulled out of the water, he gave his father’s phone number in Cuba, and his father called his relatives in Miami and asked them to look after him - until he was out of the hospital and well enough to go home.

Well, there are the political differences. Juan is VERY pro-Castro, and Lazaro is just as Anti-Castro.

Just a word in Natalie’s defense:

If she gets her news the same way I do, courtesy of Good Morning America, occasionally in the morning while she’s getting ready for work, then no, she wouldn’t be familiar with all these ins and outs of the case. The media, and ABC I think in particular, has ALWAYS gone for the quick kill, the standup in front of the weeping relatives, and left the tedious explaining to others.

Also, FWIW, I believe the name “Gonzales” is fairly common, not like, say, “Smith” or “Jones”, but maybe more like “Fisher”. There are lots of people in south Florida named “Fisher”, but they aren’t all necessarily related to each other.

Natalie, it’s like any other family squabble–messy, longstanding, and totally incomprehensible to outsiders. “You mean you haven’t spoken to your brother in 20 years because he refused to clean the barbecue grill after your parents’ 25th anniversary cookout?!” Like that.


And I would say, “Well, at least it’s all over now,” except that now we can look forward to the endless books, and the book tours, and the lecture tours, and the TV-movies, and the endless, ENDLESS breast-beating in the press over the use of force. I never thought the day would come when I would say this: “Dear God, please send us another O.J. Simpson or Monica Lewinsky. Thank you. Amen.”

I think what we really need is another Mark McQuire / Sammy Sosa style competition. Something where you get to choose which nice guy you want to root for.

So, Elian’s father is in the position of having his ex-wife steal his son and take him to a foreign country, where some distant relatives then claim him and refuse to return him because the country he lives in is ruled by someone they don’t like. Family values, I guess.
[emphasis added]

Sometimes I think you people really don’t get it. I don’t like Bill Clinton. That doesn’t mean I can’t stand to live in the USA. But Bill Clinton doesn’t have total dictatorial power over this country. Fidel Castro is a tyrant.
Wait a minute–having seen Bill Clinton send in the troops after the kid, I’m not sure. Maybe Clinton does have total power. Scary, but true. But, he will be replaced; he can be impeached. Those are not true of Castro. Big Difference.

It’s a simple question…
Is Castro’s Cuba a better place for Elian to grow up than Miami? If yes, send him back.
If Miami is better for him, keep him there.
If you don’t want the kid to be treated like a trophy, don’t leave him in either place. Send him to Switzerland, Chile, Nebraska, wherever, but not Cuba nor Miami. But the kid’s gonna have a worse time on Cuba, blockaded little island that it is, than in the US. Castro will send him to be re-educated as the perfect little pseudo-Marxist propaganda mouthpiece for ol’ Fidel’s fascist paradise. I vote for Miami.

Familial rights? Get over it. I remember someone jumping on me (in the late, unlamented gay marriage thread) because I said terms like ‘family’ and ‘marriage’ indicated ‘blood ties.’ But now everyone’s insisting that the boy belongs with Juan Miguel Gonzalez because that’s his natural father? Sheesh!

The boy’s mother lost her life trying to get to the States. In the words of E. E. Cummings, “no slave’s unlife shall murder me for i will freely die”!

But President Clinton has triangulated his most popular possible response: Anti-Hispanics; Anti-Anti-Communists; Anti-Immigration types; weenies who think “a boy should be with his dad (SOB)”; and of course Fidel Castro will all appreciate sending the kid back to Cuba.
People who recognize Cuba as a totalitarian-fascist prison will be upset, but the Democratic-Party/teacher’s-unions/media-conglomerates have spent a generation raising up an America that knows too little of geopolitics and nothing of honor.

If Juan Miguel Gonzalez wants to take Elian back to that purgatory, that is sufficient evidence of parental incapacity. PERIOD. The boy should not go to Cuba.

Terrific. May I please co-opt this argument to immediately begin confiscating the children of Fundamentaloony Christians? Or Republicans?

I am so glad this Elian thing might be over. Once I saw Elian smiling with his dad, I knew it was over. What I find remarkable is probably all Elian has heard for months is “You want to stay here rather than go back, don’t you? don’t you? don’t you? don’t you?” Yet once he was happily with his Dad, all was dropped.

And I loved it when that chick was giving us haircut conspiracies. Nothing like going out with dignity, right? :wink:

I’m glad he didn’t stay for two reasons:

[li]People forget he was an ILLEGAL immigrant. So what if he’s cute? If we let him stay, I’d hate to see where it would lead. Would dirty illegals from south of the border sneak over and say they just “want a better life for their kids”? Would we be able to say no to them if we let Elian stay?[/li]
[li]But would Elian have a better life? Look at the neighborhood he lived in. Whenever I point out crime statistics, people tell me criminals are just “products of their environment”. I guess we’d have to assume Elian would grow up into a thug, too.[/li][/list=1]