October 25, 2021

“Why did Elian’s mother leave Cuba? She was living the good life.” asks ABC’s Jim Avila

“Why did Elian’s mother leave Cuba?” the furrow-browed Jim Avila asked the (then) NBC cameras in April 2000. “What was she escaping? By all accounts this young woman was living the good life.”


“Would it occur to a presumably educated reporter to ask why someone tried escaping East Germany? Of course not. They’d be laughed off the screen. But as usual, the same thundering imbecility goes unnoticed with regards to escaping a Soviet-Bloc prison-nation in the Caribbean.”


Apparently unsatisfied with his historic propaganda services for Castro’s Stalinist regime, ABC’s Jim Avila reported for duty again this week. Davila’s interview with 21 year old Elian Gonzalez is making major media waves.

The “interview,” by the way, was conducted from Cuba after Avila was (gleefully) granted a journalist visa by the Stalinist authorities—not that this could possibly influence the nature of Avila’s questions. And certainly not that most viewers of the alphabet media would notice anyway.

“I am his (Fidel Castro’s) friend but above all I consider him (Fidel Castro) my father, my grandfather. Fidel, he is an incredible person! I came to know Fidel. I began to see his kindness!” These were among the eye-opening scoops the hard-hitting Jim Avila was able to coax from Elian Gonzalez….

Some perspective on that “good life:” Between two and three hundred people (out of an average population over the decades of 18 million) died trying to breach the Berlin Wall or otherwise escape East Germany. Between sixty-five and eighty thousand people (out of an average population of 8 million over the decades) have died trying to escape Castro’s Cuba.

What makes these stats more horrific still is that prior to Castroism very few Cubans left Cuba. Indeed, prior to Castroism Cuba was swamped with more immigrants per-capita than the U.S., mostly from Europe. People from nearby Haiti jumped on rafts desperate to enter Cuba, which enjoyed a higher standard of living than much of Europe. Also, during the 1950’s when all Cubans were perfectly free to emigrate with all family, property, etc., and U.S. visas were issued to them for the asking, about the same number of Americans lived in Cuba as Cubans in the U.S. In 1953 more Cubans vacationed (then voluntarily went home) from the U.S. than Americans vacationed in Cuba.

Alas none of this features in The Godfather II. So it’s mostly unknown.

Our friends at Townhall help disseminate a few items not well understood outside the diminutive Cuban-American informational ghetto.