By Eddy Montilla.
Comparisons should not be made to denigrate people or countries, but to analyze positive and negative things that can draw conclusions we can use to grow together. Elian Gonzalez, the once-Cuban kid who became famous for being the source of a long-running international dispute about his custody in 1999, seems to have forgotten this simple point when he said that if Cuba were not a socialist country, it would be a poor country like Haiti.
And the question is… Did he really need to present Haiti as the ugly and baddy in the film? With a simple change of words, Elian Gonzalez would have avoided such faux pas or gaffe. For example: If Haiti were like Cuba, then it would be in better position. I will be generous to him and consider his erroneous statement as a sign of political immaturity. However, I cannot be so generous when it comes to illogical positions and the illogical viewpoint here is that this statement comes from a person who was leaving 15 years ago, voluntarily or involuntarily, the country he defends today.
Elian Gonzalez should not forget that his terrible ordeal during the shipwreck where his mother, Elizabeth Brotons died while trying to take him to the U.S. and his short stay in that capitalist country were precisely what made him a “hero” when he was sent back to Cuba. If it were not for that situation, he would not be a cadet and industrial engineer today in Cuba, but a barber waiting for a client at most. Perhaps for many Cubans, capitalism is not the best option, but for Elian Gonzalez, it marked the difference that let him hold the privileged position he enjoys today. So he is not the best prototype to talk about capitalism or Haiti’s economic situation.
As for his Haiti’s remark, you only have to read a couple of pages of this country’s history to understand that the crisis of this Caribbean country is not because of capitalism, but because of the way of thinking and behavior implanted by Spain and France in Latin America and Africa where the oppressed of yesteryear have become the oppressor of today. Dictators like Francois Duvalier, Jean-Claude Duvalier and relatives devastated much of Haiti with their rampant theft and, above all, with their clear denial of basic human rights, including access to education, the base for development for any country. Then, Elian Gonzalez, Haiti’s problems are not a matter of capitalism or socialism, but the lack of humanity and moral values that lead people to kill themselves like idiots instead of living as brothers and sisters.
This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion with Eddy Montilla.
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