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by Charley Reese
Mash almost any of America's foreign-policy postules and what will ooze out is big business in pursuit of money. It now seems that even little Elian Gonzalez has become a pawn in an international business scheme.
By the time you read this, some outcome may have occurred. Nevertheless what follows is important background. All of the information comes from the Archer Daniels Midland Shareholders Watch Committee.
In the fall of 1995, ADM's chairman, Dwayne Andreas, met with Fidel Castro for dinner in New York. In July 1996, Andreas announced that he was going to Cuba to see Castro. He said he contemplated building a refinery in Cuba but would do it through a Spanish subsidiary because of the trade embargo.
In 1997, a Spanish company invested $65 million in Cuba for a refinery for the production of alcohol from molasses. In October 1999, Martin Andreas, senior vice president, said ADM would consider constructing a vegetable-oil plant in Cuba if the market were open.
Last January the Cuban government announced that it is moving toward consideration of a joint-venture type of relationship with ADM. In February, ADM announced plans for another trade exhibition in Havana in December.
What has this got to do with Elian Gonzalez?
Well, there are a lot of interesting coincidences. Remember the meeting with the grandmothers at the home of the president of Barry University?
Dwayne Andreas is a large contributor to Barry University, and his wife is a graduate and is past chairman of the board of trustees. The president of the university was initially in favor of returning Elian to his father -- until the meeting with the grandmothers convinced her that the Cuban government was calling the shots.
Last October, Andrew Young, an ADM board member and member of the public-policy committee, was installed as president of the National Council of Churches, an old left front group, which has taken the lead in urging that Elian be returned to his father.
Gregory Craig, the high-priced lawyer who suddenly materialized to represent Juan Gonzalez, who couldn't afford two seconds of Craig's time, is part of a law firm that also represents ADM. Craig is ostensibly being paid by the National Council of Churches.
That seems like an awful lot of coincidences linking Elian Gonzalez with ADM, which calls itself the supermarket to the world. Castro is like any other communist dictator. If you want to cut deals with him, you have to kiss his backside. If you want to open a news bureau in Havana, you have to kiss his backside. Castro wants the kid back, and what do you know?
A leftist church group and a high-priced lawyer, both with ADM connections, pop up to lead the campaign. And, no surprise, the big American news media jump on the same bandwagon.
Castro, by the way, has already said Elian will be sent to a boarding school in Havana, where Cuban psychologists will straighten out his mind. Castro's daughter, who lives in Spain, had already warned that would be Elian's fate if he's handed over to the dictator.
The Cuban exile community has always known that the question is not one of familial custody but one of freedom or a kid being sacrificed to a ruthless communist dictator.
One day I may find an American foreign policy that does not cause me to become nauseated. By and large, it is safe to say that the American government generally disgusts me, as do much of American big business and much of the American news media. Liberty gets a cold reception from all three.