|June 24, 2000
Elián’s detention: the risk
• President Fidel Castro sends
message to more than 400,000 Cubans
assembling in Holguín today, June 24 • Acknowledges support of U.S.
people in the battle to liberate Elián • What was done to Shaka
contradicts universally accepted doctrines and principles
risks that should not be underestimated still exist. If just one member
of the U.S. Supreme Court accepts the already announced injunction
appeal, Elián and his family will have to remain in that country for
months. President Fidel Castro expressed this warning in a message read
out this morning, June 24, to more than 40,000 Cubans gathered in Plaza
de la Revolución Mayor General Calixto García, in the eastern province
of Holguín, to demand the liberation of the Cuban child; the
disappearance of the Cuban Adjustment, Helms-Burton and Torricelli Acts;
and an end to the U.S. blockade.
The massive rally was attended by Vice
President Raúl Castro and Majors of the Revolution Juan Almeida Bosque
and Guillermo García Frías.
Fidel argued that the Miami mafia and
their allies on the extreme right in the United States still have power
and a margin for maneuver. "They will not hesitate for an instant
to use them," he confirmed.
He added that even when Elián and his
father return to the island, Cubans will still have in front of them the
unremitting battle against the Helms-Burton and Torricelli Acts, the
dozens of U.S. Congress amendments designed to strangle our country, the
criminal blockade, economic warfare, and the incessant policy of
subversion and destabilization against "a Revolution initiated more
than 130 years ago."
Fidel recalled that in the hardest days
of the battle for Elián’s liberation, the support of the U.S. people
as a whole rose to 70%, "which should not and will not be forgotten."
Within that support, which he described as decisive and admirable,"
he noted than 90% of African Americans defended the rights of the child
and his father.
In that context, he referred to the
execution in Texas of Shaka Sankofa, who, he said, "was murdered."
Subsequently, the Cuban president noted that independently of the legal
infractions attributed to Shaka with great emphasis by his executioners
when he was an marginalized adolescent living in conditions of poverty
and racial discrimination, "what is unquestionable is that he was
sentenced to death for an alleged homicide when still a minor, without
any consideration or compassion whatsoever, and without his guilt even
having been proven."
Fidel went on to affirm: "Everything
done to him is in contradiction with universally accepted legal
doctrines and principles."
After his comments on the irregularities
committed with Sankofa, the Cuban leader stated that "it is
generally believed in the United States and throughout the world that he
was sentenced to death and executed simply for being black," on top
of "the monstrous deed of subjecting him for 19 years to the
funeral chapel or what is more bluntly known as death row."
Fidel emphasized that "Shaka Sankofa
has shown the world the bitter fruit of a social system where
differences between the richest and the poorest are infinite and where
individualism, egotism, consumerism, a generalized use of firearms and
violence reign as a philosophical foundation."