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Elian Gonzalez

Elián Gonzalez, (born 1994) is a Cuban boy, who escaped with his mother from Cuba, though she died in the attempt (November 1999), leaving him to float to Florida on an inner tube. Elian was 5 when he escaped.

After his rescue, a legal and political battle ensued between those who wanted to allow him to stay in the U.S. (including many other defectors from Cuba and some American relatives), and those who believed that he should be returned to his father, who remained in Cuba and was loyal to the Castro government. The debate was highly polarizing, and Elian's Miami home became the site of a vast media circus. For much of the summer of 2000, his continuing plight dominated the American news networks.

The battle reached as far as Congress and the Federal courts, eventually resulting in U.S. Marshals bursting into his great uncle's home on the morning of April 22, 2000 to seize him, returning him to his father waiting in Washington, DC.

There was a brief but vigorous political controversy over whether a search warrant authorized the use of force.

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