Flashback: Elian Gonzalez "Reunited with His Father in Cuba"
Sunday's story from Miami by Terry Aguayo, "8 Years After Elian, Cuban Custody Battle," glossed over the fate of Elian Gonzalez, the five-year-old boy found floating on an inner tube off Florida in 1999 after the boat in which he and his mother tried to reach America capsized. His mother drowned. Elián lived with relatives in Miami for several months, stirring a custody fight between the relatives and the boy's Cuban father that led to an infamous showdown leading to Elian's forced return to Communist Cuba.
"Almost eight years after the custody battle over Elián González took center stage here, a similar situation involving another Cuban child is playing out in a local courtroom.
"The dispute this time involves a 4-year-old girl who came to the United States from Cuba in 2005 with her mother and her 13-year-old half-brother. At issue is whether the girl's father, a Cuban farmer who arrived in Miami in June with his wife and 7-year-old daughter to fight for his younger daughter's custody, is fit to raise her."
"The girl's case evokes that of Elián González, who was 5 years old when he was found floating on an inner tube off Florida after the boat in which he and his mother tried to reach American soil capsized in 1999. His mother drowned, and Elián was placed in the care of his Miami relatives, stirring a custody fight between the relatives and the boy's Cuban father who, like Mr. Izquierdo, traveled to the United States to claim custody.
"At the time, thousands of Cuban-Americans held daily protests outside the Little Havana home where Elián lived, and tens of thousands took to the streets in protest when the boy was reunited with his father in Cuba. This time, though, the Cuban-American community does not appear to be as emotionally involved in the outcome."
"Reunited with his father" is a pretty benign formulation for what actually happened to Elian Gonzalez in April 2000 under Clinton's Justice Department, as heavily armed federal immigration agents charged in to his relative's house and removed the scared child, hiding in a closet with a relative.