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Elian Gonzalez Case: More Political, Legal Maneuvering Ahead Despite Father's OptimismAired April 7, 2000 - 2:29 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Juan Miguel Gonzalez says he's confident that a reunion with his son, Elian, will take place soon.
CNN's Bob Franken tells us, though, despite the father's optimistic outlook, there is still plenty of legal maneuvering ahead.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The statement from Attorney General Janet Reno came immediately after Juan Miguel Gonzalez personally pleaded his case. At the same time, Justice Department officials were working on a letter officially transferring custody of Elian Gonzalez from his Miami relatives to his father. Reno promised to make sure "a transfer occurs in a fair, prompt and orderly manner."
JUAN MIGUEL GONZALEZ, FATHER (through translator): I've been very satisfied with the meeting with them. They've given me their -- all their courage, all their -- I don't know how to tell you -- all their support that this will be resolved the soonest possible.
FRANKEN: Government officials say the question now is not if the 6-year-old boy will be returned to his father but when and how.
The situation is described by a Justice Department source as "fluid" as talks have broken down between federal negotiators and the Miami relatives about the hand-over of the child.
There is maneuvering on both sides. One of Elian's Miami uncles who wants to keep the youngster in the United States has come to Washington hoping to meet with his father.
(on camera): The maneuvering continues to be heavily political. The matter has been the entire time the child has been in the United States, away from his immediate family. It promises to be even more so as the government steps up its pressure.
Bob Franken, CNN, Bethesda, Maryland.
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