As is its custom from time to time, the Castro regime trotted out former refugee Elian Gonzalez for PR purposes yesterday. This time the cause of celebration was the 10th anniversary of the young man's return to the Communist regime on June 28, 2000.
Associated Press reporter Will Wiessert covered the story, which I found published at AOLNews.com with the headline, "A Decade Later, Elian Gonzalez Speaks Out."
Wiessert began by noting that "Elian Gonzalez says he's not angry at his Miami relatives who fought to keep him in the United States" and that he was "thankful [that] 'a large part of the American public' supported him being reunited with his father in Cuba."
Later in his article, Wiessert insisted that "Cuba has worked to play down the public persona of both" Elian and his father since June 2000, but that "the latest anniversary of their triumphant return proved an exception."
The AP reporter was equally uncritical of the totalitarian regime in other parts of his report. For example, Wiessert noted that during Elian's time in the U.S. that "[s]tate television crated a nightly 'round-table' program that provided updates on the Gonzalez case and it endures today, though it now discuss all sorts of themes."
A roundtable public policy program hosted by the state media of a Communist regime? Yeah, I'll bet that's real fair and balanced.
Wiessert also noted that Elian's father Juan Miguel Gonzalez was "elected to parliament" following the custody struggle in 2000, but he failed to note that the Cuban parliament is window dressing for the Castro regime, and allows no opposition parties.
Wiessert's piece quoted a Castro regime official as well as a useful idiot who heralded the "love and justice" of the Castro regime:
The latest event was organized by Cuba's Council of Churches, which includes all major Cuban religions except the Roman Catholic Church, and was held at the Episcopal Santisima Trinidad Cathedral in Havana. The council staged a celebration in the same church days after Gonzalez's return in 2000.
"It was a triumph, not only of love and justice, but of logic over indecency of spirit, truth against evil," Rev. Marcial Miguel Hernandez, president of the Council of Churches, told those assembled Wednesday night.
A bit later, parliament head Ricardo Alarcon said that "for many in the United States, Elian's case was the discovery of the reality that the imperial propaganda, the industry of deception, tried jealously to hide."
Yet no critics of the Castro regime were quoted in the story, even though Wiessert found space to quote propaganda from an official Castro regime newspaper:
"The boy of yesterday is now a Cuban like any other," said the Communist Youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde, adding that "a decade after being used as a toy by the enemies of the revolution ... he is preparing to be a future officer of the Revolutionary Armed Forces."