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Cuban American National Foundation Reacts to Federal Court Ruling in Gonzalez CaseAired April 19, 2000 - 3:30 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BOBBIE BATTISTA, CNN ANCHOR: Greta, I'm sorry, hold on. I'm sorry, let me interrupt for a second. We want to go down to Miami, where George Fowler, with the Cuban-American -- I mean, to Washington rather, where George Fowler with the Cuban American National Foundation is speaking.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
GEORGE FOWLER, CUBAN AMERICAN NATIONAL FOUNDATION: Pardon.
QUESTION: What are the issues still left up in the air?
FOWLER: The custody issue is not decided by the court of appeals. As we've been saying all along, it would appear that the custody issue is one that should be handled by the state court. That's what the Immigration and Naturalization Service indicated initially in writing, that this was a state custody matter, a family court, a judge that understand custody matters. And then they changed their mind and they decided that they were going to try to send Elian back to Cuba. Well, this stops them; this stops them from taking any action in connection with that kind of activity, and gives Elian more time here in this country.
QUESTION: What do you think should happen next in terms of reconciliation, some kind of reunion or meeting with his father?
FOWLER: Well, I think that elders of the family need to meet, Lazaro, who is taking care of Elian, and Marisleysis, who's been taking the place of his mother and meet with Juan Miguel in some far- off place and talk about family matters and try to resolve this like a family would, without lawyers, without the media, without the intrusion of the Castro thugs intimidating Juan Miguel. Let them meet like a family and try to work it out. Now that request for a meeting has been made by the Miami relatives repeatedly, but Castro will not let Juan Miguel out of his sight. You know, they said he met with Attorney General Janet Reno, and that's true, but you don't know what pressures are brought to bear on a man like Juan Miguel Gonzalez. We know that his family's mother and father are in the hands of Castro.
And we have here a young man who is a recent dissident from Cuba. He can tell you the kind of pressures that can be brought to bear on a person like Juan Miguel Gonzalez. But notwithstanding that, we have a good day for.... BATTISTA: George Fowler, with the Cuban American National Foundation in Washington, commenting on the ruling today, the federal court here in Atlanta ordering that Elian will stay in the United States pending his appeal.
We will take a break here at this particular time. We're waiting for several events to happen. Elian's father Juan Miguel Gonzalez may be leaving the Cuban Interest home where he has been staying, and you are looking at a live shot from Miami, Florida, at the crowds outside of Elian's home. We'll get more reaction from there to this ruling today.
Back in a moment.
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