How Many T-shirts and Banners Must He Become?
by Mark A. Rogers
In the dawn of 22 November 1999, Elaine de Valle
(1999) reported that Elián González, his mother and her common-law husband,
along with 11 Cubans, waded through shallow waters off Cárdenas in the province
of Matanzas pushing a 17- to 20-foot boat away from homes so these émigrés
(immigrants) would not be seen or heard. The Cubans’ voyage was headed out into
the Florida Straights to the United States of America in search of libertad y
una nuevo existencia (freedom and a new life). In the high profile
international debate over whether Elián should be repatriated to his papá in
Cuba or allowed to remain in Miami with relatives, de Valle maintains there also
are the life stories or generative legacies of the 11 others¾who
they were and why they risked this deadly voyage. Through the interviews with
the two adult survivors and the family of the dead émigrés in this country and
Cuba, pieced together with the narrative of the U.S. Border Patrol, de Valle and
The Miami Herald tried to re-create this tragic journey, which in this writer’s
opinion helps to illuminate why Elián González is so many T-shirts and banners
for so many peoples in our global family of cultures vying for their right to
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Copyright © 2000, Mark A. Rogers, M.S., M.A., Psy.D.
All rights reserved.
Honisa Behavioral Treatment Centers, Inc.
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