US rejects Cuba plea for return of boy rejected
One of the country’s most respected commentators on Russia, the EU and the US, Mary Dejevsky has worked as a foreign correspondent all over the world, including Washington, Paris and Moscow. She is now the chief editorial writer and a columnist at The Independent and regularly appears on radio and television. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Buckingham.
Tuesday 07 December 1999
On Sunday, the Cuban President, Fidel Castro, gave Washington 72 hours to hand over Elian Gonzalez, accusing the US of kidnapping him. Gonzalez's mother and stepfather died when their refugee boat capsized in a storm. The child was found clinging to an inner tube in waters off Florida on Thanksgiving Day and rescued by the US Coast Guard.
He was entrusted to relatives in Miami, where he celebrated his birthday yesterday.
No sooner had word reached Cuba, however, than his natural father broadcast an emotional appeal for his return, accusing his former wife of taking him out of the country illegally. Both sets of grandparents live in Cuba and joined his plea, which has the support of the Cuban authorities. US officials say that the case will be settled by the immigration authorities, or by the courts.
But what began as essentially a custody dispute has now escalated into a major political stand-off, just a week before US officials are due to travel to Cuba for routine talks on ensuring the orderly flow of migrants from Cuba. Mr Castro has threatened to cancel the talks.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 4 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Saudi Arabia executions now at 'unprecedented rate' after kingdom kills four more in two days
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...