|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
CNN International World News
Clinton Administration Defends Its Actions In Elian Gonzalez CaseAired April 25, 2000 - 0:14 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL HOLMES, WORLD NEWS: The battle for 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez is taking a new form in the U.S. city where he lived for five months. Miami's Cuban-American community is expected to protest the boy's hand-over to this father by staging a one-day strike.
And as CNN's Kate Snow now reports, the list of players involved in this custody dispute is growing.
KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The sounds and images of early Saturday were the talk of Washington Monday, the speaker of the House calling for congressional hearings and the White House responding to critics who said the government used too much force.
JOE LOCKHART, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: All of this could have been avoided. None of this had to happen. This happened because the family did not respect the legal process here that dictated the father should be reunited with the young boy. That lack of respect and the unwillingness to go along with what the court said and what the INS said led to no other alternative.
SNOW: Lockhart lashed out at relatives from Miami, who've made numerous pleas in front of television cameras, saying it was time to separate fact from impassioned rhetoric.
At the White House Easter egg hunt, parents were heard congratulating Attorney General Janet Reno for reuniting the 6-year-old with his father. But Reno acknowledged the decision to send in armed agents was a difficult one.
JANET RENO, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We had one goal over time, that was to reunite the little boy with his father. We tried every way we knew how to do it in a voluntary, peaceful way. That didn't work, and so we proceeded with the law enforcement initiative. In all these instances, I try to make the best judgment I can and then I move forward.
SNOW: And there were new details about what happened Saturday morning. INS agents told superiors that Miami relatives locked doors and blocked them with furniture, despite earlier assurances that they would not interfere if the government came for Elian.
In its application for a search warrant, the government asked to conduct the raid at night, fearing a human chain around the house would impede them during daylight hours.
As the debate over tactics raged on, the Gonzalez family spent another day in seclusion. Then, for the third day in a row, relatives from Miami were denied access. The two sides are scheduled to meet next month in a courtroom.
ROGER BERNSTEIN, ATTORNEY FOR ELIAN'S MIAMI RELATIVES: What will take place, we hope now, is that the court of appeals will hear arguments on May 11 regarding the appeal and on the very important issue of whether Elian has the right to apply for asylum.
SNOW (on camera): In a legal brief filed on Monday, the Justice Department laid out its case. As they've said all along, government attorneys insist Elian Gonzalez, a 6-year-old boy, does not have the capacity to ask for political asylum on his own behalf.
Kate Snow, CNN, Washington.
TO ORDER VIDEOTAPES AND TRANSCRIPTS OF CNN INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMMING, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE THE SECURE ONLINE ORDER FROM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.