What Elian learned in Georgetown

Unlike Cuban homes, American houses have swimming pools in the basement.

Published May 11, 2000 4:00PM (EDT)

The reason for Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez's field trip to the posh Georgetown
residence of two prominent Democratic fundraisers last weekend had nothing to do with efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, Al Kamen writes in his Washington
Post column.

Nope. The Cuban refugee was brought to the swank abode of R.J. Reynolds
heirs Smith and Elizabeth Bagley so he could see "what a typical in-town
American home looked like," after all the time he's spent holed up at the Wye
Plantation with his father, awaiting his return to Cuba.

"As the result of this trip." Kamen writes, "Elian came to understand that,
unlike in Cuba, most kids here, because it's cold in the winter, have pools
in their basements." He also learned that American homes are decorated with Rembrandt and Toulouse-Lautrec originals.

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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