BARAGUA OATH -


We shall see who resists longer!

 

Extracts

from a text published in

Granma

on February 18 and sworn as a commitment by thousands of Cubans in Mangos de Baragua on Saturday 19

THERE can be no doubt: in spite of the statement by the Secretary of State on the issue of kidnapped Cuban child Elián González on February 17 in the House of Representatives, the Miami mafia are clearly betting on weariness in Cuba. They believe that our forces will become exhausted, that the monstrous injustice will be left to one side, that our people’s weariness is beginning to show. How little they know our people!

The mass offensive unleashed in our country on the basis of ideas is unprecedented. US imperialists, well used to committing all kinds of crimes and misdeeds with impunity, were totally incapable of imagining it. It is not simply a battle for a child’s return, it is the fight for the right of all children in the world not to be kidnapped, snatched from their most intimate, closest and most legitimate relatives; not to be uprooted from the culture and nation into which they were born and spent the early and most tender years of their lives; nor from those who taught them their first letters, or took the best care of their health; or the first children they related to and played with. These are and always will be an inseparable part of the life of any human being that nothing or nobody can replace. The crime was too great, too abusive, too arbitrary. That is why it has to hurt all the parents and close relatives of every child in Cuba, throughout the world and even in the country where he is being held: the Unted States.

They are torturing Elián in a psychologically cruel way. They are shamelessly exploiting him, manipulating him, shooting thousands of photos of him, and exhibiting him like a political trophy, as if he was the scalped head of one of the millions of American Indians exterminated in that country. Or they are trying to purchase him like the child of any of the millions of slaves who were sold in public auctions for centuries by those who occupied, colonised and created that nation. In this case, what matters is not to buy the body but the soul of that child. The idea that children can be bought with trips to Disneyland or by stuffing them with all kinds of sophisticated games produced by consumer societies constitutes an insult to the world, particularly to the overwhelming majority of that world made up of the poor. What is most offensive is the gross idea that parental custody is being decided on the basis of a country’s rich or poor nature. Worse still is the repugnant process of the destruction of that chil’s soul. Specialised personnel and sophisticated techniques, including brutal methods, are being utilised to destroy all vestiges of that defenceless child’s love for and memory of his father, his baby brother and his four grandparents.

They made him, a child who cannot even read yet. put his name to a printed document, to name lawyers and apply for US citizenship. In order to vote for any presidential candidate, legislator, mayor, state judge, etc., a US citizen must have reached the age of 18; on the other hand, in the case of a kidnapped Cuban child, they are claiming that a child of barely six years old is capable of choosing his homeland or of deciding whether he wishes to return to Cuba or not.

The US government’s duty is to return him to his family in Cuba. That is in compliance with international, US and Cuban law. There is no possible justification for assigning that task to the US courts via a series of lengthy, interminable and illegal procedures, thus permitting the kidnappers to consummate the barbaric act of destroying the child’s mind. The US courts not only lack jurisdiction over the case, but also the possibility of solving the problem with the urgency required to avert irreversible consequences for his health. It is the US government that has total authority in this case.

The US authorities have gone too far, in spite of the fact that they were warned at a very early stage of the consequences. Our government has clearly stated that if the child is not returned as quickly as possible to his family and his homeland, a massive battle of national and international opinion which will be extremely costly for that country’s prestige will inevitably break out.