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Elián González

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 reality.

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Copyright © 2000, Mark A. Rogers, M.S., M.A., Psy.D.
All rights reserved.
Honisa Behavioral Treatment Centers, Inc.
Chicago, Illinois

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