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Friday, 2 June, 2000, 03:49 GMT 04:49 UK
Cuban anger at court ruling
Cuban student reads official youth newspaper
Cuban youth newspaper warns "No one should jump to conclusions"
By Tom Gibb in Havana

There has been an angry reaction in Havana to the latest US court ruling over six-year old Elian Gonzales, despite the fact that an Atlanta appeals court found in favour of Elian's father.

The Cuban Government has strongly attacked the fact that Elian will not be able to leave the United States for another three weeks, pending appeals by the Miami relatives.

During the daily three hour television discussion about the Elian case, attended on this occasion by Cuban leader Fidel Castro, TV commentators and lawyers denounced the latest court ruling, calling it political, defamatory, full of lies and illegal.

Kidnapping and bribery

A statement at the end of the programme said that not only Elian is now kidnapped in the United States but his father, his stepmother and his baby brother as well.

Elian's classmates
Elian's classmates visit an exhibition in his honor near their school in Cardenas
The family are in Washington awaiting the outcome of legal proceedings.

Although the Atlanta court ruled in favour of Elian's father, the Cuban Government is denouncing the fact that the family are still barred from returning to the island.

The government statement said the delay was not only an act of vengeance by what it called the Miami Mafia, but also part of a ridiculous plan by the highest US authorities to try to bribe Elian's father to stay in the United States.

Protests planned

The court ruling will allow Fidel Castro to continue to use the case as a nationlist rallying cry on the island and to campaign in the United States for changes in US policy.

Together the Cuban and US peoples will be victorious, the government statement ended.

New rallies and marches have been called with warnings that the island's scarce public transort will be severely disrupted in coming days.

The government says a protest march called for Friday will see half a million women marching past the US Interests section in Havana.

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See also:

01 Jun 00 | Americas
Court rejects Elian asylum bid
11 May 00 | Americas
Legal fight over Elian
01 May 00 | Americas
Millions demand Elian's return
26 Apr 00 | Americas
In pictures: Elian strike
18 Apr 00 | Americas
Elian's relatives at war
27 Apr 00 | Americas
What's life really like in Cuba?
01 Feb 00 | Americas
Tug-of-love over Elian
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