”60 Minutes" made much of the fact that Castro came to Elian’s elementary school graduation and pronounced himself Elian’s friend. ”That’s quite something, isn’t it," Simon gushed, ”for the president of a country to say he’s honored to have a kid as a friend?"
Elian: Yes, and it’s also very moving to me. And I also believe I am his friend.
Simon: Do you think of him as a friend?
Elian: Not only as a friend, but also as a father.
Simon: If you had a problem, would you call him up and tell him about it?
Elian: I could.
Well, it is good to know that Elian thinks so highly of Castro. And one must admire the restraint shown by ”60 Minutes," which somehow managed to avoid mentioning that Elian’s friend and surrogate ”father" is also the world’s longest-ruling tyrant, a sadist who has killed or imprisoned tens of thousands of dissidents, and, not incidentally, the Stalinist thug who drove Elizabet Brotons — Elian’s mother — to her death in the Florida Straits.
Jacoby’s condemnation of CBS reminded me of how CNN coddled Saddam Hussein. We only know about that because Eason Jordan of CNN confessed on the pages of the New York Times. His remarkable mea culpa is here if you missed it. It will cost you $3.95 but it’s worth it. Or you can google around and find it.
If you have any romance left in your heart for Castro, read Against All Hope or Waiting for Snow in Havana. The former is chilling and deserved to be read to honor the courage of its author and his prison mates. The latter is a magical book about growing up that also tells of what Castro was really about as almost an afterthought. It is one of the finest books I have read in the last ten years.