While Senator Obama worked a warm audience at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami this week-end, protesting Bush and Mc Cain's “tax-cuts for the wealthy” and promising billions in federal hand-outs, a small group of Cuban-Americans stood outside the Intercontinental protesting Obama himself.
More specifically, they protested some of Obama's top advisors: Gregory Craig, who serves as Obama's chief advisor on Latin America, and Erich Holder, who heads Obama's vice-presidential selection team. Both of these gentlemen had key roles in “legally” perfuming the shanghaiing of Elian Gonzalez. At the time, Craig served as lawyer for Elain's father, (i.e Fidel Castro), and Holder served as Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno.
"That was eight years ago,” Obama responded when plans for the Cuban-American protest were announced last week. “Obviously it was a wrenching situation for the families, but I'm running for president in 2008 and my focus is: how do we create a Cuba policy that will create political freedom on that island and allow the people who live there to prosper?"
Florida holds 27 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. New Jersey holds 15 electoral votes, and the largest Cuban-American community after Florida. So 16 percent of the 270 electoral votes could depend on a candidates' professed policy towards Stalinist Cuba. Obama knows this and plans to woo a few of these these overwhelmingly Republican voters. Well, he's got his work cut out for himself.
“My fear is that those who collaborated with the Cuba's communist government and made a great mistake with a defenseless child,” said Elian's Miami uncle, Delfin Gonzalez, “will make the same mistake again against this nation that is facing danger from terrorism.”
In fact, outside of Florida and New Jersey, the Elian Gonzalez issue should not discomfit the Obama campaign in the slightest. Polls from the time show that 70 percent of the American public fell for the Castro/Clinton/Craig media ruse, and favored the boys return to Stalinist Cuba.
Dan Rather had a major role in this ruse. On April 16, 2000 his 60 Minutes segment featured an interview with Elian's father, Juan Miguel. America saw an innocent, bewildered and heartsick father simply pleading to be allowed to have his motherless son accompany him back to Cuba, his cherished homeland. How could anyone oppose this? How could simple decency and common sense possibly allow for anything else?
"Did you cry?" the pained and frowning Dan Rather asked the "bereaved" father during the 60 Minutes drama."A father never runs out of tears," Juan (actually, the voice of Juan's drama school-trained translator) sniffled back to Dan. And the 60 Minutes prime-time audience could hardly contain their own sniffles.
Here's what America didn't see: "Juan Miguel Gonzalez was surrounded by Castro security agents the entire time he was in the studio with Rather." This is an eye-witness account from Pedro Porro, who served as Dan Rather's translator during the famous interview. Dan Rather would ask the question in English into Porro's earpiece whereupon Porro would translate it into Spanish for Elian's heavily-guarded father.
"Juan Miguel was never completely alone," says Porro. "He never smiled. His eyes kept shifting back and forth. It was obvious to me that he was under heavy coercion. I probably should have walked out. But I'd been hired by CBS in good faith and I didn't know exactly how the interview would be edited — how it would come across on the screen.
"The questions Dan Rather was asking Elian's father during that 60 Minutes interview were being handed to him by attorney Gregory Craig," continues Pedro Porro. “It was obvious that Craig and Rather where on very friendly terms. They were joshing and bantering back and forth, as Juan Miguel sat there petrified. Craig was stage managing the whole thing — almost like a movie director. The taping would stop and he'd walk over to Dan, hand him a little slip of paper, say something into his ear. Then Rather would read the next question into my earpiece straight from the paper."
“Midway through watching that 60 Minutes broadcast, I felt like throwing up," said Porro. "My stomach was in a knot." His worst fears were confirmed. Continued...