A little boy's night on the town

A Georgetown society dinner for the Cuban refugee raises eyebrows -- and thickly mascaraed lashes.

Published May 10, 2000 2:50PM (EDT)

Young Elian Gonzalez, it seems, has become a hot commodity on Washington's society dinner circuit. This weekend, he and his pop, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, were ferried from the Wye Plantation in Maryland (where they have been living as virtual recluses since the boy was reunited with his father) to the Georgetown home of R.J. Reynolds tobacco heirs Smith and Elizabeth Bagley.

The dinner drew the expected cynical criticism that the boy was being paraded around for prospective Democratic donors, but the nastiest comments came from an apparently envious Georgetown maven, who seemed surprised that the Bagleys would entertain guests of such lesser means -- like, say, working-class communists from Cuba.

"This is really astonishing," the unnamed source told the Washington Times. "After all the talk about how Elian was put on exhibit in Miami, the Bagleys were a party to this. They don't usually invite their chauffeur or his children to dinner."

By Daryl Lindsey

Daryl Lindsey is associate editor of Salon News and an Arthur Burns fellow. He currently lives in Berlin and writes for Salon and Die Welt.

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