Join 3,424 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

The Elian Gonzalez shrine
February 23, 2010 6:14 PM   Subscribe

The house where Elian Gonzales stayed in Florida is now a shrine.

It's been 10 years since the Elian Gonzales custody crisis. Elian and his mother emigrated to the US; his mother did not survive the trip; and in the ensuing weeks an international crisis arose between Elian's Cuban father and his US relatives, which resulted in Elian's return to the island. Now, ten years later, the relatives have preserved the boy's room and most of the house as a permanent shrine to the six months he spent there.
posted by Omon Ra (15 comments total)

More pictures: The Elian González Museum Flickr Set
posted by Omon Ra at 6:21 PM on February 23, 2010

Wondering: Any word from the boy himself?
posted by docgonzo at 6:31 PM on February 23, 2010

Attempts to interview Elián González come to nothing. One is told in quaint Cárdenas that the decision lies in Havana; in Havana they say that it must be made in Cárdenas. Delfin is certainly right about the security guards – they seem to have taken over the house next door to Juan Miguel's neat, pastel-blue home with a swing in the front garden, where Elián lives now with his two stepbrothers and stepmother, Nersy. Anyone approaching the house is questioned, photographers chased away.
posted by Omon Ra at 6:38 PM on February 23, 2010

he says, "Wassup!"
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:08 PM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Elián's return to Cuba cut deeper than Castro's immediate victory; it transformed and moderated the mindset of the Miami Cubans in a way that would profoundly affect the future of their homeland. The threat of a Cuban civil war, which had dominated relations across the straits for four decades, evaporated after Elián González. Miami's Cuban leadership took a hard look at itself. The loss of Elián was a watershed moment: he cancelled the war that might have followed Castro's eventual death."

posted by availablelight at 7:31 PM on February 23, 2010

I wonder what the SWAT guy with the mustache is doing these days.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:52 PM on February 23, 2010

I thought he was eaten by the Walt Disney robot spider? I saw it on the TV.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:07 PM on February 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Yes, availablelight, really. The end of the article explains it well. The militant exile community is no longer the dominant force in Cuban-American culture and politics and it was the Elian incident that signaled the fall. The exiles have, more or less, resigned themselves to dying in exile. For a very long time the entire energy of the community was geared toward the overthrow of Castro and the triumphant return to Cuba. But that generation is very old now and subsequent generations don't see things in the same way.

Many, maybe even most, Cuban-Americans now see Cuba in the same way that many Americans see Ireland or Italy, as a distant homeland from which a certain identity is derived, but which is ultimately alien to them. No one talks of returning anymore.

It's honestly one of the saddest things that I have ever witnessed, and hopefully the saddest thing that I will ever live through. It's a tragedy that's hard to imagine for anyone that hasn't experienced it. There is so much suffering, families carved in half, a country destroyed, and for what? One man's hubris? A hypocritical attempt to create paradise?

There's nothing left but ashes and tears.
posted by oddman at 8:33 PM on February 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

I think that he strips for parties, Joe: "I'm having you deported... to Sexyland!"
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:33 PM on February 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Elian Gonzales, Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II, The Blessed Virgin, and some dolphins sent by Jesus, all in one of my favorite murals.
posted by longsleeves at 9:24 PM on February 23, 2010

I heard that the snarky dolphin on the left in that mural is supposed to be a MeFi user.
posted by circular at 10:18 PM on February 23, 2010

Sociologically, the Cuban immigrant population in Miami is fascinating. Many older Cubans living here do not learn to speak English, and one line of academic thinking on the matter is that this community views itself as temporarily displaced. Why learn a new language if you'll be going home soon?

It seems that this mindset is shifting, but I don't hang out in Miami enough anymore to see if there are any material effects on the ground.

(Also, I lived in the dorms at FIU when all that dumpster and tire burning was going on down the street. Very unpleasant. Lots of screaming.)
posted by bilabial at 6:19 AM on February 24, 2010

toodleydoodley, it was on Mefi that I first saw that, and it feels like yesterday. I blinked in front of a blue screen and ten years later, I'm still staring at it.
posted by dabitch at 8:08 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

A poster in Havana, from when Elian was still in the US.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:40 PM on February 24, 2010

toodleydoodley, it was on Mefi that I first saw that, and it feels like yesterday. I blinked in front of a blue screen and ten years later, I'm still staring at it.
posted by dabitch at 11:08 AM on February 24 [1 favorite -] [!]

time machines
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:06 PM on February 24, 2010

« Older Though President Obama has signed no laws since ta...  |  Ten Word Wiki is an Encycloped... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments