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Friday, 31 March, 2000, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Estefan joins Cuban boy row
Gloria Estefan
Gloria Estefan's family fled to the US after the 1959 revolution
Singer Gloria Estefan has joined the custody row over Cuban shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez, by demanding the six-year-old should be able to stay in the US.

Elian has been living with relatives in Miami since being found off the Florida coast four months ago, but the US government and a federal judge have ruled that he should be returned to his father in Cuba.
Elian Gonzalez
Elian Gonzalez: International custody battle
Estefan, 42, who was born in Havana, said she had spoken to US Attorney General Janet Reno about the matter, adding Elian should be allowed to present his case in court.

Her comments came as immigration officials further delayed moves to repatriate him following talks with lawyers representing his relatives.

Estefan said: "It is alarming to think that in refusing Elian his day in court, the full truth in his situation may never be heard.

"We urge our government to grant Elian the opportunity to present his case without extraordinary and uncommon conditions."
Jent Reno
Janet Reno: Spoke to Estefan
She added Elian's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, should come to the US to make his case. Elian's mother drowned with ten others on board the ship taking them to Florida.

"If Elian's father is permitted by the dictatorship of Fidel Castro to come to the United States then as a Cuban American I welcome him, and urge him to make all his decisions based on the well-being and best interests of his son and not that of the Cuban government," she said.

Estefan's father worked for Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, who was overthrown by Castro.

The row over Elian has also become an issue in the US presidential election.

Vice-President Al Gore broke ranks with Bill Clinton's administration to call upon Congress to back legislation which would give residence to Elian and his close family members.

See also:

30 Mar 00 | Americas
US delays Elian deadline
30 Mar 00 | Americas
Tensions high over Elian case
26 Jan 00 | Entertainment
Cuba boy drama planned
27 Mar 00 | Americas
Elian thinks his mother is alive
27 Mar 00 | Americas
Castro confident of Elian's return
25 Mar 00 | Americas
US sets new Elian deadline
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