Not since Monica has anyone or anything captured America’s attention and imagination like Elian. The six-year old Cuban who survived the storm and was fished from the sea has become an instant cultural metaphor – a symbol, depending on who you ask, of a government that would deny a boy freedom, or an interest group that would use a child for political ends.
Lots of people would say the Elian narrative isn’t about the US or the Gonzales family; it’s about the Cuban family, a family of islanders and exiles that’s been at war with itself for 41 years. Elian has become more than a six year old boy for some in the Cuban exile community – he’s become a living icon, the flesh and blood of the exile experience and a font of instant legend.
What does this story tell us about the Cold War, miracles at sea, the new Miami, and Janet Reno’s justice deparment?
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)