Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cuban Girl's Custody

The Miami Herald , a McClatchy paper, has a story about a five year old Cuban girl and the custody fight around her. Her father, a Cuban national named Rafael Izquierdo, wants custody and the Miami foster parents and the State are fighting for that.

The Florida Department of Children & Families, together with the girl's court-appointed guardian ad litem, are asking Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri B. Cohen to forever strip Izquierdo of custody over his daughter by granting Joe and Maria Cubas permanent guardianship. They say the girl has so completely bonded with her half-brother and foster parents that separating from them now would endanger her emotionally.
The issue is pretty complicated, the FL statute in issue states that

a judge ''shall place'' a child with a fit parent ``unless the court finds that such placement would endanger the safety, well-being, or physical, mental or emotional health of the child.''
The State's problem is that Mr Izquierdo has been declared a fit parent. There is a consideration of the state (any) stepping into the natural right of a parent to raise their child absent abusive behavior.

At one time I would have made the argument that taking a child from the free democratic environment of the US and placing that child in the totalitarian state of Cuba was an obvious harm to the child. Since the advent of BushCo many of the distinguishing features between the two countries have vanished. Since the President now has the "authority" to vanish US citizens and torture them, after using warrantless searches and seizures on them, defacto police state actions, I am pretty chary of making that claim. I'm pretty sure that unless the father is a member of Cuba's ruling elite her economic future is better in the US, but as the BushCo has demonstrated, serfdom is the desired end of their policies, such a matter might be questionable. All in all most arguments I might make regarding something other than the affections of a child and the debatable consequences of changing that circumstance; have been thwarted by George II and his minions.

How sad is that?

1 comment:

Zak J. said...

Don't forget that Cuba has free health care. I don't think you get that in Miami, or will anytime soon thanks to the SCHIP veto.