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Elian Gonzalez Case: Elian and Miami Relatives Take Refuge at Nun's Residence

Aired April 12, 2000 - 1:01 p.m. ET

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

LOU WATERS: Elian Gonzalez went on a trip today, but not to meet with his father. A plan to reunite Elian and his father at a Miami- area airport has been postponed. Instead, Elian was taken to the home of a nun who previously has served as an intermediary between Elian's Cuban and Cuban-American families.

CNN's John Zarrella is outside the home of Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin with the story -- John.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, the family certainly was on the move today, early this morning about 10:00 a.m. Elian Gonzalez and his great uncle, Lazaro, accompanied by Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin, left the Little Havana home and got in a vehicle and went to Mercy Hospital. At Mercy Hospital, they met up with Marisleysis Gonzalez, that of course, is Elian's cousin, Lazaro's daughter. She had been at Mercy Hospital, for a few days, suffering from stress related to all of the tension surrounding this case.

From there, they came here, to Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin's residence. About half a dozen vehicles showed up. As they went by us, we could see Marisleysis Gonzalez in the back seat on the passenger's side, and Elian Gonzalez behind the driver in the back seat. They were not particularly showing any emotion, went by us, went in the gate. And since then numerous other vehicles have arrived. Members of the legal team have shown up here. Really have no idea exactly how long they are going to be here, if they brought their overnight bags.

But what we do know is that Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin did serve as the mediary back in January when the -- Elian's grandmothers came to the United States. And after one failed attempt to meet in Miami, Sister Jeanne offered her residence here as a meeting place and they did eventually get here on a second try to meet with Elian.

And then just after that, within days of that, Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin came out and very publicly said she did not believe that Elian Gonzalez should go back to Cuba, at least not until an entire appeals process had been completed. So she chose sides in once -- after she was supposed to have been a neutral observer.

So now they're inside Sister Jeanne's residence here and, again, have no idea how long they're going to be here. They say they needed to come here. They had to get away from the chaos and the commotion of the Little Havana neighborhood and come here where they could have some calm to think things out and see what the next steps would be in what has really become a tug-of-war -- Lou.

WATERS: And the Elian watch continues. John Zarrella in Miami.

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