Monday, September 3, 2007

Elly Chovel, R.I.P.

Elly Chovel, founder of the Operation Peter Pan Group, died in Miami last Friday. El Nuevo’s obit is here.

I had the privilege of interviewing her in 2004. A great Cuban and a great American, she founded the organization to pay back the country that gave a home to her and more than 14,000 other unaccompanied children. Their parents sent them here, not knowing when they would see their children again, in the first years of the Cuban revolution when civil society was being dismantled, the church was under attack, and the state was sending Cuban youth to work in agricultural camps or to socialist bloc countries for education. Elly’s organization was dedicated mainly to acts of charity for needy American children. We have lost, and heaven has gained, a great heart.


3 comments:

Melanie said...

I loved my aunt. She was a great person. She did so much to help others. I wish i could be like that. I loved her dearly. I miss her so much, although i was not that close to her. She always put others first before her. She helped so many families and children. I will miss her. RIP Tia Elly.

leftside said...

Phil, how exactly was "civil society" being dismantled in 1960 and '61? What about the many underground groups able to come out of the closet in 1959? What non CIA related, counter-revolutionary group was supressed? And how is mandating equal education under the law "attacking the Church." Of course, important elements of the Church were attacking the Revolution - using CIA weapons and materials - as well as arguing for increased economic and military attacks against the country. There was some inevitable anti-clerical backlash that created some ugly episodes. My point is the story is not so simple...

And wasn't the idea of forcibly sending youth to the USSR and other socialist bloc countries just a rumor manufactured by CIA agent Polita Grau (transmitted on CIA/Church controlled Radio Swan)? She admitted as much after being let out of prison. Other respected researchers like Torres have found that the CIA initiated the visa program, which got things in full swing. They transmitted visa #s through clandestine broadcast to the island.

Nevermind the emotional trauma inflicted on the people involved and the money spent on them (at the expense of the truly needy)... a sad affair more the result of US meddling than anything else.

leftside said...

BTW - I meant this in no way against the fine humanitarian work of Mrs. Chovel.