The tug-of-war over Elian

Salon's coverage of the international custody battle over a 6-year-old Cuban refugee.

Published May 2, 2000 5:00PM (EDT)

The discovery in November of 6-year-old Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez, lost at sea after the
boat carrying his family to Miami capsized, sparked an international
custody battle that has pitted Miami's Cuban-American community against Havana
and ignited the biggest threat to U.S.-Cuban relations since the missile
crisis of 1962. At some turns, the story has taken on Biblical dimensions (complete with apparitions and comparisons to the young Moses). At others, it has raised the question of whether a child's well-being has been sacrificed for political gain. In the end, only one question lingers: Should Elian remain in the U.S. or should he be reunited with his father in Cuba? Read Salon's ongoing coverage.

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Latest Salon stories

Elian Sound Bite: A play date with Congress?

"Bill Gates is not Elian Gonzalez," says Robert Bork.

By Daryl Lindsey


When cops become combat troops

The controversial use of force to seize Elian Gonzalez is just business as usual in the war on drugs.

By Bonnie Bucqueroux


"Gestapo thuggery"

Alan Keyes triangulates his thoughts between the Nazi Germany, Waco and Janet Reno on Fox News, while Miami's police chief quits.

By Daryl Lindsey


El Pescador speaks

The supporting players in the Elian drama talk
of love, licking and Kato Kaelin.

By Daryl Lindsey


Today's Elian sound bite

As the battle of images becomes a war of words, we bring you the quote of the day on the Gonzalez saga.

By Daryl Lindsey


Shame on Janet Reno

It was Fidel Castro, not the Miami Gonzalez family, who kept Elian from his father.

By David Horowitz


The Elian metaphor

If we really cared about Cuban children, we'd end the embargo.

By Joe Conason


The Elian photo conspiracy

Once again, Republicans let their hatred for Clinton cloud their political judgement.

By Joan Walsh


Reno's redemption

The attorney general robs Little Havana of its most potent symbol and redeems her last months in office.

By Bruce Shapiro


A tale of two photos

The latest battle of images proves that the Elian saga had to be resolved by means of law, not propaganda.

By Joan Walsh


Elian returned to father in dramatic raid

INS agents storm the Gonzalez home after Janet Reno orders the boy's removal.

By John Lantigua


A world of their own

The Miami media recognizes and helps perpetuate a separate reality for Cuban exiles.

By Max Castro


Showdown in Miami

Janet Reno's deadline came and went, but Elian stayed put. That didn't stop the city's Cuban-Americans from putting on a Hollywood show.

By John Lantigua


Why they can't all just get along

In the unfolding telenovela over custody of Elian, the Gonzalez family looks more disturbed than the Sopranos.

By Myra MacPherson


All in Elian's family

The media is holding back on the shady past of the young Cuban refugee's Miami relatives.

By Myra MacPherson


No good can come of this

Myths and harsh realities in the political sludge match over Elian Gonzalez.

By Bruce Shapiro


Meet Miami's moderates

The eruption over Elian Gonzalez is eclipsing a newer, tamer politics emerging in South Florida. Here are the leaders of that movement.

By John Lantigua


Grumpy old men

The aging exile leaders who are trying to keep Elian Gonzalez in the United States have a lot in common with their anti-democratic nemesis, Fidel Castro.

By Max J. Castro


Bracing for Hurricane Elian

Miami's Cuban-American community prepares for war against hometown girl Janet Reno.

By John Lantigua


Why Elian should stay in the U.S.

Growing up as "state property" in the Soviet Union convinced me that freedom is as crucial as a father's love.

By Cathy Young


Should he stay or should he go?

Miami exiles and Havana dissidents split on Elian Gonzalez and the future of Cuba.

By John Lantigua


Milagro in Miami?

On TV it's all Elian, all the time. But Cuban exiles and their neighbors disagree about what should happen to the boy who's become a symbol.

By Max J. Castro


Elian Gonzalez and the future of Cuba

As Havana waits for Castro's demise, even his enemies are appalled by the way Miami's Cuban exiles have used the motherless boy for their own political ends.

By Cynthia Durcanin


Indiana Dan vs. Dr. Evil

The Congressman trying to prevent Elian Gonzalez's return to Cuba, Rep.Dan Burton, gets more campaign funding from Florida's Cuban exile community than from his own folks back home in Hoosierland. By Daryl Lindsey


In all the hoo ha about Elian we have forgotten the Smalls!

Who could forget those darling fugitives from Canadian cultural protectionism?

By Dorothy Nixon


Political child abuse

Miami's Cuban-American community is playing out the trauma of their own exile by exploiting 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez, and revealing just how disproportionate their political influence is in the process.

By Bruce Shapiro


Adrift in America

Elian Gonzalez isn't an anti-Castro poster child; he's a child who needs his father's love.

By Michael Shapiro


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Hot Table Talk discussions

+ Abduction or a family reunion?

+ Send Elian home! [IN NEWS AND MEDIA]

+ Elian: Why are we keeping him away from his father? [IN POLITICS]

By Salon Staff

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