For many people, Elian himself became seen as the personification or embodiment of liberty and the anti-Communist cause. He became the "keystone" of what many Cuban-Americans saw as a larger strategy to finally topple the Communist regime.
"Elian, symbol of liberty": this float shows that Elian's arrival in the United States also heralds the death and burial of Communism in a coffin. He will be the undoing of the regime.
Elian's face and image often appeared in conjunction with the Statue of Liberty and other American symbols representing American ideals of freedom and liberty. One commentator compared sending the child back to Cuba with "hurling a kid back over the Berlin wall."