First off, I am glad to see that Elian Gonzalez is back home in Cuba, with his father, and the rest of his family. This whole issue should never have been about Communism, Castro, the embargo against Cuba, or any other reason. This was an issue concerning a father's right to be with his son, and to raise his son in the manner he sees most fit.
Secondly, I believe $2 million was an extravegent waste of money, and as said earlier, could have been put to much better use. In my opinion, the U.S. government should have tried to contact Elian's father, instead of relatives in Miami, then the whole ordeal might not have happened.
Thirdly, I blame two things for making the whole ordeal go out of proportion. They are the media, and the relatives in Miami. I could not believe the selfishness of the Miami relatives. The way they warped the poor boy's mind by showering him with gifts, taking him to Disney World, was appaling. Then some of the people in the Cuban community in Miami also made the situation much worse. (I say some because, contrary to popular belief, not all Cubans wanted Elian to stay in the United States. Many infact, thought he should belong with his father.) But some said that Castro would make him a political pawn, and that he would live a deplorable, miserable life. How do they know that? Many of them have never even been to Cuba. In addition to that, the country has changed over the 40-some years since the United States stopped friendly relations with Cuba. They have no idea what it is like. Their constant protesting and picketing did nothing more than tarnish the view of the American people towards the Cuban, and possibly even the rest of the Hispanic community. Then the media, always seeking an audience no matter what, capitalized on this, by overfeeding the American population of news concerning Elian. It got to the point that I did not want to watch the news becuase all they would show were the things that happened to Elian that day. Then the media threw more controversy in by adding Castro, communism, and American relations with Cuba into the issue. The media was a large contributing factor to this ordeal.
Fourth, I was somewhat confused by some posts made earlier. One states that the embargo should be kept, becuase Cuba is a communist country, and are "killers." If the embargo should continue becuase the country in communist, doesn't that mean we should have an embargo against China too, instead of continuosly improving relations with them? I personally, am glad to see trade growing between our two nations, and hope ties with China can be strengthened even more. So, why not the same with Cuba? And also, how exactly are they killers?
Another post said why should the U.S. support any person that comes here? This country was based on immigration. I guess that means all the Europeans that entered the U.S. in the early 1900's should have automatically been sent back to the countries they came from. Also, the U.S. has a policy granting assylum to those fleeing political injustice, which is the reason many Cubans flee to the United States.
But on the whole, I am just glad that the whole thing is over, and that Elian is finally back with his father.