For Immediate Release

Return Elian Gonzalez to his Father Now


BOSTON, January 11, 2000—The Fatherhood Coalition, the statewide father's rights organization, calls for the immediate return of Elian Gonzalez to the custody of his surviving natural parent—his father, in Cuba.

The efforts by Miami state court Judge Rosa Rodriguez and Congressman Dan Burton to delay implementing the INS order to immediately return Elian to Cuba are flagrant violations of the civil and human rights of Elian Gonzalez and his father.

REVERSE THE GENDERS:

  1. Elian's father illegally flees Cuba with his son, violating the custody agreement between he and Elian's mother.
  2. Elian's father dies at sea when their boat capsizes.
  3. Elian's extended family in Cuba claims that he should stay in the U.S., because, after all, the U.S. is better than Cuba, and Elian's best interests will be served if he stays.
  4. Elian's mother, in Cuba, demands that her son be returned to her immediately, claiming that her right as Elian's natural parent cannot be abridged.
  5. A state court judge and U.S. politicians disagree with Elian's mother, stating that a U.S. family court judge should decide what is in Elian's best interests, not her.

Under these circumstances, would you question Elian's mother's love for him, and support keeping him away from her?

In her ruling granting a temporary protective order and naming Elian's great uncle as his temporary custodian, Judge Rodriguez stated that the custody petition "contains sufficient verified allegations that if emergency relief is not granted and Elian is returned to Cuba he would be subjected to imminent and irreparable harm, including loss of due process rights and harm to his physical and mental health and emotional well-being."

The Fatherhood Coalition asserts that this ruling is just one more example of our nation's courts' flagrant disregard for father's rights. Every day, the unconscionable forced separation of fathers and children in our family courts is attributed to "the best interests of the child," and for tenuous allegations of "abuse" levied against fathers.

According to CPF spokesman Mark Charalambous, the question of what is really driving this issue is easily exposed once one speculates on what might have happened if the genders had been reversed:

"If it was Elian's father who died at sea after unlawfully taking his son with him in an attempt to flee Cuba for U.S. shores, there would be no question as to the validity of the custody claim by his surviving mother in Cuba. Under such a scenario, it is inconceivable that someone would say, as did Vice-President Al Gore, that there exists a lack of compelling evidence that Elian's mother was sincere 'about what is in [her] child's best interest.'"

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For further information, contact:

Mark Charalambous

CPF Spokesman

brontis@ziplink.net

John Flaherty

CPF Co-Chairman

jmflaherty@aol.com

978-840-0268

508-478-7529

CPF - The Fatherhood Coalition
617-723-DADS

A non-profit, all volunteer organization of men and women advocating for fatherhood since 1994


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