COLUMNS

Best Little Whorehouse in Elian’s Hometown is Across the Street from his Elementary School

  • Capital Connections ®
  • |
  • April 19, 2000

by Karen Feld

Prostitution, although illegal, is a wide-open industry among Cuban capitalists. It may be the world’s oldest profession and it certainly didn’t take the Cuban women long to learn that European tourists and businessmen, particularly Germans, have dollars to spend for that purpose. And it’s hard to imagine that young Elian wasn’t exposed to that as well. In fact, a brothel stands directly across the street from his school in Cardenas. Three women invited me in on a recent trip to the provincial Cuban town. They certainly appeared to be living at a higher standard than their neighbors. For example, in a state where soap is rationed at the rate of one cake a month per family (and kids Elian’s age are begging for it on the street), I saw a large box of American-made Tide laundry detergent sitting on a shelf. Apparently this was purchased with dollars in a store importing it through a third party such as Mexico. The girls were sipping Coca-Cola as well. One young Cuban woman told me: “We not permitted to praise capitalism, prostitution or drugs.” Apparently, she puts them all in the same category!

As the Elian saga drags on, President Clinton is moving farther and farther away from the firing line. After all the last time he handled something “Cuban” he ended up in a mess of trouble. This time, he’s letting Attorney General Janet Reno take the heat. “The issue here for me is the rule of law,” he told a group of newspaper editors (ASNE) meeting in Washington last week.

When a newspaper editor asked President Clinton whether he would accept a pardon by his successor, the President replied: “I wouldn’t ask for it.” “I don’t think it is necessary,” he added pointing his finger at the questioner. And if that wasn’t enough, a follow-up questioner asked whether there would be a wing of his presidential library devoted to the impeachment trail. “We’ll deal with it,” said Mr. Clinton. It looks as if he’ll have plenty of money for his library. . . the Chief Executive’s deep-pocket Hollywood pals — Geffen, Spielberg, et. al. — are planning a star-studded event that will outshine any fundraiser, tribute, or awards extravaganza and it benefits The William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation.

President Clinton confided to one editor that he wished he had taped all cabinet meetings as President Kennedy did. Mr. Clinton says he has his personal notes, “but it’s not the same when I go to write my memoirs.”

Gen. Colin Powell is a proud granddad. He says his grandkids sat in front of a computer at age six months. Now at age six, his grandson is computer literate. That’s one kid showing “America’s Promise.”

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