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Saturday, 22 April, 2000, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Cuba welcomes Elian raid
Lazaro and Marisleysis Gonzalez during the raid
Miami relatives: Lazaro and Marisleysis Gonzalez, left
By Tom Gibb in Havana

The Cuban Government has called on people not to take to the streets and celebrate the return of Elian Gonzalez to his father.

Cuban officials welcomed the news of the raid by United States' federal officials as a victory over anti-Castro exiles in Florida.

A government communique is being repeatedly read out on television and radio, telling Cubans that they should not carry out street celebrations.


Marisleysis Gonzalez cries
Marisleysis cries as her cousin Elian is taken away
They are being told that their attitude should be serene, discreet and dignified.

Any other reaction, the communique says, could adversely affect the future evolution of the case.

Television commentators have, however, been triumphant about Cuba's victory over what they called the Miami Mafia.

Screams not heard

State television has been playing pictures of Elian being taken out of the house in Miami by federal agents, but without the sound.


Elian and Donato Dalrymple hid in a closet
Elian and Donato Dalrymple hid in a closet
Over the image of despair on the face of Elian's great uncle, Lazaro Gonzalez, a commentator says this is the deserved face of defeat and betrayal.

There have been jubilant voices on Cuban radio from Elian's home town of Cardinas, where his family has been celebrating.

The grandmother was able to talk to Elian while he was on the plane to Washington by satellite phone.

But Cuban officials are also saying the battle is not yet over.

They have accepted that Elian will remain in the US while court hearings continue into the case.

But they say that even after the boy returns to Cuba, they will continue to hold protests and rallies against all other aspects of US policy towards the island.

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See also:

22 Apr 00 | Americas
In pictures: Elian seized
22 Apr 00 | Americas
Analysis: Elian divides America
18 Apr 00 | Americas
Elian's relatives at war
22 Apr 00 | Talking Point
Elian: Was force necessary?
12 Apr 00 | Americas
What awaits Elian in Cuba?
09 Apr 00 | Americas
Miami divided over Elian
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