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Police Continue to Arrest Demonstrators in Miami's Little HavanaAired April 23, 2000 - 1:36 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GENE RANDALL, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our continuing coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case and today's dramatic developments. This is a picture released by the federal government: the reunion of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez with his father, Juan Miguel, with Juan Miguel's wife and the young boy's stepbrother, a 6-month-old baby. We are told by a witness to the reunion the boy was all smiles, that he was very affectionate toward his father, very happy, and that he played with his younger stepbrother, as you can see by that picture -- Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Actually, Gene, I also called him stepbrother a moment ago. He's actually half-brother, because the two have the same father.
RANDALL: I stand corrected.
RANDALL: Thank you, Judy.
WOODRUFF: ... both of us stand corrected.
Susan Candiotti has been outside the home of Elian Gonzalez' relatives there in Miami.
Susan, any reaction to these pictures that have just been released, pictures of Elian with his father and with his half-brother?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Judy. I just spent some time with some women who happened to be standing by our monitor and could see those photographs. And I pointed them out to one woman in particular and asked her what she thought about that. And she said, in her words, well, I expected this to happen. And she said, in her words, I expect we'll be seeing more of this.
Now what did she mean by that? Well leading up to that in our conversation, there is a fear that she expressed that is often heard repeated among many of the demonstrators here, and that is a fear that once this child goes back to his father, that he really won't be under the control of his father. They worry that, as they put it, the brain-washing, as they -- in their words, has already begun. So there is considerable concern among many Cuban exiles here that this child will be reprogrammed, as they put it, by the Cuban government, and they worry that he will somehow be turned against his mother, the mother who attempted to bring him to the United States but did not survive this journey.
And even though these photographs appear to show a child that is indeed smiling and quite happy, photographs provided by the U.S. marshal service as I understand it, these people are suspicious. But they have been suspicious of the government's motives throughout and remain suspicious about what will happen once this child goes back to Cuba.
Now the crowd here has dwindled considerably. There are still maybe a hundred or so people, perhaps more, but there were several hundred here earlier this day. Now the demonstrators seem to be congregated mostly in front of the house and others have left. It is indeed a very hot Florida day with the sun beating down on them, and many of the people here say, that they plan to participate in another event being organized as we speak, by Cuban exile leaders who say that they have nothing to do with some of the more violent scenes or disturbances that you have seen just a few blocks from here, where there were some fires set in a street, at a street corner. These people say they are planning to participate in what they call a peaceful demonstration early next week, as early as next Tuesday.
But earlier, we did have some difficult here out in front of the house when a...
MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're looking at a situation here in Miami's Little Havana where another arrest is being made on the street, literally on the sidewalk, of West Flagler Street at the intersection with 27th Avenue. This just occurred as the police moved up, in what was actually a rather quiet moment as these things go. They just moved up, wanted to get the crowd, which was building up a little bit, away from the intersection. And there was some difficulty with this man, who is -- has joined the ranks of many others today who have now been arrested by the Miami Police Department here in Miami's Little Havana.
The police have regained control of this intersection, which the protesters had control of for some time, setting fires, blocking the intersection. The police came back in with force, firing tear gas, spraying pepper gas, I believe they have fired some more tear gas again. We certainly can smell it now, at least up wind.
There are some fires that are still -- they are just ordering the police to put their gas masks back on, so I guess they're going to try to disperse the crowd again.
We have been told by the county police that this is pretty much the only area where this is happening, in the Miami area, in Little Havana. It's not in the Broad County area, it's not elsewhere in Miami. This is pretty much confined to the Little Havana area of Flagler and some of the connecting avenues, West 27th, 29th, 30th, and out to the west, and also back toward the house, where my colleague Susan Candiotti is monitoring the situation where Elian was taken from his relatives by the federal authorities this morning. The people here are very angry about this situation. They have been coming up to us all day long, talking about what they see as a betrayal, as abuse, as heavy handedness, and they have taken their anger to the street.
Gene, back to you.
RANDALL: Mark Potter in streets of Miami. Mark, thanks very much.
We will be back in just a moment,
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