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Sunday, 2 April, 2000, 03:59 GMT 04:59 UK
Reno renews Elian appeal
Elian's life in Miami is conducted under a media spotlight
The media records minor details of Elian's Miami life
US Attorney General Janet Reno has appealed to Americans not to politicise the case of the six-year-old Cuban shipwreck survivor, Elian Gonzalez.

She said it was important for the tug-of-war over the boy to be settled calmly and fairly in the courts.



I think the recognition in this case is that a father must speak for a six-year-old

Janet Reno
Elian was rescued from the sea after his mother and stepfather drowned while trying to enter the US illegally.

Elian's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, wants his child to return to Cuba, while relatives in Miami say he should stay in the US.

In Cuba tens of thousands of people attended a rally in the coastal town of Niquero demanding the return of the boy.

President Fidel Castro's brother, Raul, accused Cuban American groups of trying to provoke an armed confrontation between the two countries.

And US domestic politics are also being affected by the case. On Thursday, Vice-President Al Gore backed Congressional moves to give Elian and his Cuban relatives US residency, while first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton came out against the idea as she campaigned for a Senate seat in New York.

Ms Reno had this message. "I think it is so important for all Americans to make sure we don't politicise this issue, that we do this within the law ... that we get it done in an orderly and calm and fair way," she said.

Visa debate

"I think the recognition in this case is that a father must speak for a six-year-old, and particularly in the difficult circumstances Elian has been in the parent is the one who should be speaking for him," she said.


Protesters outside Elian's great uncle's Miami house
Protesters outside Elian's great uncle's Miami house
Juan Miguel Gonzalez, is seeking to enter the United States as one of a delegation of 31 Cubans to take custody of Elian.

US officials are ready to grant him a visa, but are less sure about other members of the Cuban delegation, including some of Elian's schoolfriends.

In an interview with ABC television, the president of the Cuban National Assembly, Ricard Alarcon, said the presence of the children would help Elian get through the legal proceedings that will determine his future.

First graders


A poster of Elian towers above Havana streets
A poster of Elian towers above Havana streets
A Miami federal court last week upheld a January ruling by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) that Elian belonged with his father in Cuba.

The relatives' appeal is scheduled to be heard on 11 May.

Talks will resume on Monday about the INS's plans to revoke Elian's residency, a move strongly resisted by his relatives in Miami.

Anti-Castro Cubans have been holding demonstrations outside the house in Miami where Elian is staying with his great uncle.

On Saturday they threatened a campaign of civil disobedience in the event that Elian is deported.

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See also:

31 Mar 00 | Americas
Gore changes stance on Elian
31 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Estefan joins Cuban boy row
30 Mar 00 | Americas
US delays Elian deadline
30 Mar 00 | Americas
Tensions high over Elian case
27 Mar 00 | Americas
Elian thinks his mother is alive
27 Mar 00 | Americas
Castro confident of Elian's return
03 Feb 00 | Americas
Elian: View from Cuba
29 Jan 00 | From Our Own Correspondent
The Dalai Lama of Little Havana
11 Dec 99 | Americas
Asylum bid for shipwreck boy
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