|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Elian Gonzalez Case: Cuba Requests Visas for Father, 25 Others; Florida Family, Government Resume Negotiations on Boy's FutureAired April 3, 2000 - 2:09 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: As we've been reporting, Cuba requested a visa today for Juan Miguel Gonzalez so that he can travel to the United States for a reunion with his son, Elian.
We have CNN's Havana bureau chief Lucia Newman on the line with us.
What's it all about, Lucia.
LUCIA NEWMAN, CNN HAVANA BUREAU CHIEF: Good afternoon, Lou. Well, the visa applications for Juan Miguel Gonzalez, his wife and his baby son were submitted this morning to U.S. Immigration officials at the U.S. Interests Section here in Havana, along with applications for 25 others which Cuba considers essential to accompany Mr. Gonzalez to the United States. These include 12 of Elian's first-grade classmates, his teachers, and a team of medical specialist, as well as the president of Cuba's National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon.
Mr. Gonzalez says that he's willing to leave for the United States today, in fact, to pick up his son if he can bring him home immediately. But if he has to stay for several months in the U.S. awaiting the outcome of a federal appeals court, he wants to take a long what he calls a support team to help Elian become reacquainted with his roots and so that he won't miss school, he says.
The visa requests were submitted to the U.S. Interests Section where enormous government-organized protests calling for Elian's return to Cuba began on December the 5th. And, Lou, in just about four hours, an enormous and modern plaza, kind of a permanent protest site, will be inaugurated precisely in front of the American diplomatic mission here to commemorate, according to Cuba, the people's colossal battle to recover Elian -- Lou.
WATERS: Lucia, any idea why 12 classmates and teachers would be considered essential?
NEWMAN: Because, according to the Cuban government and to the boy's father, he doesn't want the child to miss anymore school. They want to transfer the boy from Miami to Washington where they believe they'll be in a less hostile environment. And because while they wait, they believe that there's no time to lose to get the child reacquainted with his family, with his roots, as I was saying, to become reoriented again into the Cuban way of life, Lou. WATERS: Lucia Newman, Havana bureau chief -- Donna.
DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: And in Miami, lawyers for the Gonzalez family and the government are talking again today about Elian's future.
CNN's Susan Candiotti watching that part of the story for us -- Susan.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Donna. I'm here at the house where Elian has been living for more than four months now. Talk today is centering on two things: Not only on the negotiations going on between the Florida relatives representing 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez and the government, but also on those applications for visas that were filed today. And the U.S. State Department says those applications are now under review.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES RUBIN, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: We do expect to be making decisions on these visa applications fairly quickly. It has been our policy for many, many days now that we have indicated that we will stand ready to expedite the processing of visa applications for the immediate families of Elian Gonzalez.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: The Florida relatives of Elian Gonzalez have said, let the boy's father come, but come to this house so that they can decide together what is best for the child. A spokesman for the great-uncle says, if talks break down, the uncle will not stand in the way of U.S. Immigration, but that Immigration will have to, quote, "seize the boy."
The lawyers for those relatives going head to head for the third day with the government, they just wrapped up a lunch break and they are back in negotiations, I am told. Justice Department officials have said that the Florida family must be willing to turn over the child if all appeals are lost or if circumstances change. And the Justice Department has said that includes coming to the United States. The Justice Department has said it does maintain the right to transfer the custody of the boy to his father if the father comes to the U.S. while that appeals process is going on. The child, theoretically, would then be allowed to live with his own father.
That's the latest from here.
Susan Candiotti, CNN, reporting live in Miami.
KELLEY: All right, Susan. Thank you.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.