Yahoo/AP Heralds Elian Gonzalez’s Entrance into Young Communists

Leave it to the mainstream media to highlight the latest "accomplishment" of the Castros’ oppressive regime.

One of’s front page news items Monday morning linked to a story from the Associated Press about Elian Gonzalez’s entrance into Cuba’s Young Communist Union. The short uncredited story put the news this way:

The Cuban boy at the center of an international custody battle eight years ago has joined Cuba's Young Communist Union.

Communist youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde quotes Elian Gonzalez as saying he will never let down ex-President Fidel Castro and his brother Raul Castro, who succeeded Fidel earlier this year.

Now 14, Elian was 6 when Miami relatives lost their fight to keep him in the United States and he was returned to Cuba in mid-2000 with his father.

Elian had survived a boating accident off the Florida coast that killed his mother, who was attempting to get to the U.S.

Juventud Rebelde says in its Sunday edition that the boy was among 18,000 people who joined the group on Saturday.

"[H]e will never let down" the Castros? As NewsBuster Lyford Beverage put it when the AP reported that Elian sent Fidel Castro a "get better soon" note in 2006, "does anyone with children think that sounds like the un-prompted action, and un-scripted words of a [now 14-year old] boy?" In the 2006 story, the AP used the same "communist youth newspaper" as a source.

The AP, as CBS correspondent Bob Simon did when he interviewed Elian in the 2005, failed to ask the obvious questions: is this something the kid really wanted to do, or does he feel like he’s being used for political ends?

This oversight brings up a follow-up question: why is young Elian more important than the 18,000 people who apparently joined the Union on Saturday? It’s because he represents a continuing propaganda victory of the communist Cuban government over the United States, and both Yahoo! and the AP see no problem with helping them spread the news.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan was a news analyst at Media Research Center