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War Of Words Over Elian

”This is a child, a 6-year-old child. How the INS and the Justice Department got into the mess they got. ... It would've been so much simpler to have had a custody hearing in state court to deal with this.”
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.size>

“Let's be clear: The real fault here lies with the oppressive regime of Fidel Castro. Elian should never have been put in the position of having to choose between freedom and his own father. ... We still need a full and fair court hearing based on due process in a court of law according to the facts available about what is in the best interests of the child.”
Vice President Al Goresize>

On phone with father
at Christmas
“I urge Attorney General Janet Reno to reconsider her plans to send Elian back to Cuba, back to the place his mother died trying to escape. This case should be decided by a Florida family court, which will protect the best interests of Elian, not by a Clinton-Gore Justice Department whose record of putting politics ahead of the law does not inspire confidence.”
Texas Gov. George W. Bushsize>

”I would hope that the law would be followed by everyone, including them (Elian's Miami relatives)… There is a legal process here and I have done my best to avoid politicizing it.”
President Bill Clintonsize>

At his great-uncle's home
“If their continued provocation, in the form of unjustified threats to revoke the boy's parole, leads to civil unrest and violence, we are holding the federal government responsible, and specifically Janet Reno and the president of the United States, for anything that may occur in this community.”
Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelassize>

“I also came to this land of freedom at 6. I remember clearly about how the militia men would come while I was playing, asking me if my parents were with Castro or not. I realized then the sacrifice my parents made for me.”
Miami Mayor Joe Carollosize>

Growing up as the
tug of war continues
“The president of the United States, as well as myself, are a product of the appeals system in America. My request is to those that have the power to allow the appeal process to go through.”
Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinezsize>

“Mr. Coward Clinton Let lian Stay here in freedom. Respect his mother's last will.”
Sign held by 24-year-old Mario Medina, who came to the United States four years ago and is not a citizensize>

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