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Marisleysis Gonzalez: 'The Battle is Not Over with Yet'Aired June 1, 2000 - 12:53 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROGER COSSACK, CNN ANCHOR: The news conference in progress in Miami by the Miami family. Let's listen.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
MARISLEYSIS GONZALEZ, ELIAN'S COUSIN: And above all, faith in the man that let Elian get to this country safe and sound, which is God. I will keep my faith and I think the battle is not over with yet. He's still here. He's still in this great country.
And I hope that the laws of this country favor him and give him the opportunity that we've always asked for, for him to seek asylum or to let this go to a family court.
I also wish to be able to see him again. I don't see why we're not allowed to see him. We took care of him for five months, and we did the best we can. And I feel that we, as a family, should be able to see this little boy.
I happened to call the house where he was staying in Maryland and I spoke to one of the mothers of one of the little girls, the pioneer that came from Cuba. And I asked her to please let me speak to the boy. She said: "Who's Calling?" I did not deny myself and I said: "It's his cousin, Marisleysis."
Right there and then she started laughing and saying: "Oh, no you cannot talk to him." And I said: "Why not?" And she says: "From everybody, you are the one that can't talk to him." I kept asking: "Why not me?" She just laughed and said: "No, not you, you no, no way, not you."
So,I hung up the phone and I tried calling back again to see if Elian will be the one to pick up the phone. The next day I called around 10:00 in the morning. One of the little classmates picked up the phone. And as soon as I was going to ask her to please let me speak to him, she picked up the phone on the other line and she said, screaming at her, arguing with her to please hang up. And the little girl said: "No. Who is it? Who is it?"
So, I hung up the phone. And I don't see why -- they are not even family members. I respect his teacher and so, but I took care of him with my family for five months. And now they're bringing classmates, who practically only spent with him maybe a year in class, did not go with him home, did not take care of him. And now I stand here and, not only me, but the press are not allowed to see the boy; have not tried to do something possibly to see the boy, I think. Because whenever they wanted to see him in my house they would insist a lot. They would insist a lot. I haven't seen them insist in Washington. And I think if you guys could help out in that I would really appreciate it.
And I'm looking forward in being able to see Elian again. And I still keep my faith. And that's something that I won't lose. I will always keep that to the end. I think that there's nothing more powerful than God, and I could still see that because God has given him strength and he's a very strong boy.
And I think they should allow us to see the boy. They shouldn't be afraid of giving us the opportunity. I think the reason why they don't let us see the boy is because they're scared of the boy's reaction when he sees us, because they know he's going to run to us.
We've all seen pictures; we've all seen him in the (INAUDIBLE). The face is not the same. The pictures are not the same. You don't see the same little smile. You don't see the same little boy you saw when he was in my house.
And, if there's something I could say, it's that I love him and I'm looking forward in seeing him for once more.
And thank you.
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