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It is difficult to imagine that a cute, little, six-year-old boy would be able to change the favorable socially constructed images of cubanas/os virtually overnight. But that is precisely what happened with Elian and the comunidad cubana en Miami en estos estados unidos. The story is sad and poignant, heart-wrenching and surreal, human and political, civil and social, cultural and economic. It reaches into the souls of all who have fought and lost after having thought that they had fought and won.

This essay explores the transformation of the Cuban community in the eyes of the estado unidense majority in the context of the Elian experience. Following this introduction, the piece develops the Elian facts and explores the impact of the case on Cuban-United States relations in Miami. Next, the work reviews the law — the complex of norms we call the "rule of law" — that applies to the Elian facts. Finally, the piece engages in a LatCritical analysis of the application of the rule of law. It directly engages the reality that our personal experiences influence, and indeed may well control, how we read the law and apply it to the facts. This analysis reinforces critical scholars' attacks on normativity and its faux objectivity.