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CNN Today

Cubans Keeping Eye on Today's Family Reunion Between Grandmothers and Elian Gonzalez

Aired January 26, 2000 - 2:32 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Cubans are keeping a close eye on today's family reunion. CNN's Lucia Newman is in Havana -- Lucia.

LUCIA NEWMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes indeed, the Cuban public has been following the comings and goings of Elian Gonzalez's grandmothers in the United States step by step, blow by blow on state- run television, newspapers and radio. This morning, the official government newspaper, "Grandma," published a letter which was supposed to have been written by Elian Gonzalez's father, Juan Miguel, as well as other family members to the grandmothers, a letter which details, outlines in specific points how the meeting with the child should take place.

The first point reads, "You will receive a cell phone in the morning. We will call you one hour after you are with the child. If we can't call you, you call us, because we want to speak with him when he is with you, entirely free."

Now this letter was also read out on state television newscasts, and it went on to say that "There should be no conversation or contact whatsoever with uncle Lazarl or other members of the child's Miami family, with the exception of one uncle who is supposedly -- supports the child's return to Cuba. And these people, these Miami relatives, are called kidnappers and accomplices in the letter.

Lastly, the grandmothers are told that when they finish the meeting with Elian, they should return to Washington to continue lobbying for his return to Cuba, and also to push for the American legislators not to pass any kind of a bill that would make the child a permanent resident of the United States or a citizen.

As you can see, Natalie, the -- this whole case and the meeting of Elian with his grandmothers is being followed, is being monitored, in fact, very closely, not only by the father, but by the Cuban government here -- Natalie.

All right, Lucia Newman, reporting live from Havana.

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