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Little Elian, Big Politics

When a six-year-old boy becomes a political football for the US-Cuban cold war, both sides lose their humanity.

Elian Gonzalez, found floating on the high seas last month after his mother drowned escaping Cuba, is due to be sent to his father on Jan. 14 under a ruling by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service. If he was from another country, he might have been home within a few days.

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But anti-Castro politicians want him to testify in Congress. And Cuban-American lawyers want him in a US court, despite the INS ruling that only the father speaks for the child.

By trying to shut down Miami in hopes of keeping this child from his sole loving parent, many Cuban-Americans have damaged support for their anti-Castro cause in the US.

The INS was slow to decide. But its escort home for Elian must be swift.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society