18 05 2015

In this fourth of seven sequential photos, Elian Gonzalez is held in a ....

History can be so fickle…and forgotten.   The Iranians changed American and world history when they took U.S. Embassy hostages on 4 November 1979.   A year later “the hostage crisis”  was one of the major reasons Jimmy Carter lost his re-election bid, replaced in the White House by Ronald Reagan .

Years later a 6-year-old Cuban boy changed American and thus world history once again.   On 22 April 2000 federal officers, court ordered, took Elian Gonzalez at gunpoint from the home of his Cuban family members in Florida and sent him back to his father in Cuba.  That event and this picture then changed history.

Later that year, in the closest U.S. election ever, Al Gore lost the State of Florida by just a handful of votes coupled with a highly contentious 5-4 Supreme Court decision, and George W. Bush became President.   The Elian Gonzalez affair clearly had influenced many voters in the vast Cuban community of Florida to vote against those in power, Clinton/Gore, whom they held responsible.  That led to the neo-cons taking over the U.S. government, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the “war on terrorism” that has redefined U.S. foreign policy and the world at large.