|Birth Day:||December 6, 1993|
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He, his mother, and a group of twelve other passengers left Cuba by boat in November of 1999. The boat suffered an engine malfunction, and all but three passengers drowned. Elian was one of those rescued by fishermen and turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard.
On November 21, 1999, González, his mother Elizabeth Brotons Rodríguez, and twelve others left Cuba on a small aluminum boat with a faulty engine; González's mother and ten others died in the crossing. González and the other two survivors floated at sea until they were rescued by two fishermen, who handed them over to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Afterwards, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) released González to his paternal great-uncle, Lázaro. According to the Washington Post, González's father, Juan Miguel González Quintana, had telephoned Lázaro from Cuba on November 22, 1999, to advise that González and his mother had left Cuba without Juan Miguel's knowledge, and to watch for their arrival.
On January 21, 2000, Elián González's grandmothers, Mariela Quintana and Raquel Rodríguez, flew from Havana to the United States to seek their grandson's return to Cuba. While they were able to meet with the boy only once at the Miami Beach home of Barry University president Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin, they journeyed to Washington and met with congressmen and Attorney General Janet Reno. After nine days of media coverage (during which Republican lawmakers acknowledged they did not have the votes to pass a bill to give González U.S. citizenship), they returned to Cuba to "a hero's welcome".
While the family was still at Andrews, New Hampshire senator Bob Smith, escorting the Miami González relatives, was turned away from the base by guards. The May 5, 2000, Miami Herald reported that González was joined by his classmates (without their parents) and his teacher from his hometown, Cárdenas. The newspaper Granma released pictures of Elián in the Young Pioneer uniform of Cuba's Communist youth league. On May 6, 2000, attorney Greg Craig took González and Juan Miguel to a dinner in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, hosted by Smith and Elizabeth Bagley.
After González was returned to his father's custody, he remained in the U.S. while the Miami relatives exhausted their legal options. A three-judge federal panel had ruled that he could not go back to Cuba until he was granted an asylum hearing, but the case turned on the right of the relatives to request that hearing on behalf of the boy. On June 1, 2000, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Elián was too young to file for asylum; only his father could speak for him, and the relatives lacked legal standing. On June 28, 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the decision. In the afternoon of the same day, seven months and one week after Elián González left Cuba, he and his family, along with his classmates and teacher, boarded two chartered planes at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, for José Martí International Airport in Havana.
Commentators have suggested that the Elián González affair may have been a factor in voters' decisions in the 2000 United States presidential election, which could have affected the close outcome in Florida. Al Gore's handling of the matter may have angered the predominantly Republican Cuban community over the boy's return to Cuba. Gore initially supported Republican legislation to give the boy and his father permanent residence status, but later supported the administration position. He was attacked by both sides in the dispute for his equivocal position.
The saga was portrayed in the 2000 television film, A Family In Crisis: The Elian Gonzales Story, which starred Esai Morales as Elián's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez; Laura Harring as Elián's cousin Marisleysis Gonzalez; and Alec Roberts in the title role.
Morrison's TV report also showed an 18th-century building in Cárdenas which was previously used as a fire station and which was renovated and inaugurated on July 14, 2001, as a museum, called Museo de la Batalla de Ideas ("Museum of the Battle of Ideas"), which includes an exhibition room dedicated to González, which houses a life-size bronze statue of González raising a clenched fist. The former González home in Miami has similarly been turned into a museum, with the boy's bedroom left unaltered. Juan Miguel is also a member of the National Assembly and has attended events for the Communist Party of Cuba with González, who has been called up to the stage to meet Fidel Castro. Castro also attended a filmed birthday party of González with his schoolmates.
After his return to Cuba, Elián González lived with his father, stepmother, and three brothers in Cárdenas, where his father, Juan Miguel, was a waiter at an Italian restaurant at Josone Park, in Varadero, near Cárdenas. Elián's father was interviewed at the restaurant in 2004 by Keith Morrison of the NBC News program Dateline NBC and Cover to Cover on CNBC. Juan Miguel filmed a home video on which González was shown doing his arithmetic homework with Juan Miguel in their dining room, going to bed in his bedroom with his two younger half-brothers, and attending karate lessons.
In September 2005, González was interviewed by 60 Minutes and stated during the interview that Fidel Castro was a friend, and that he considers Castro "not only as a friend but as a father"; González's aunt, Angela González, said she doubted whether the interview represented his true beliefs because of the controls imposed by Cuba on information. In December 2006, an ill Fidel Castro was unable to attend González's 13th birthday celebration, so his brother Raúl attended instead.
On August 16, 2006, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of an excessive force lawsuit brought by Dalrymple and others against the federal government and Reno.
González joined the Young Communist Union of Cuba in June 2008 shortly after graduating from junior high school. At age 15, he began military school. In a November 2013 speech, González described his time in the United States as "very sad times for me, which marked me for my whole life", asserting that the Cuban Adjustment Act led to the denial of his rights, including "the right to be together with my father, the right to keep my nationality and to remain in my cultural context".
In 2015, González was studying to be an industrial engineer, and hoped to marry his high school sweetheart and fiancée after finishing college. He stated that although he did not regret returning to Cuba, he would like to travel to the United States one day "to give my love to the American people". In July 2016, he received a degree in industrial engineering from the University of Matanzas, and read a letter to Fidel Castro from his graduating class, vowing "to fight from whatever trench the revolution demands".
After graduating in 2016, González began working as a technology specialist at a state-run company that makes large plastic water tanks. On Father's Day in 2020, González announced that he was becoming a father himself, with his fiancée being pregnant with a girl.
Elián is a 2017 documentary film directed by Ross McDonnell and Tim Golden, produced by Trevor Birney and executive produced by Alex Gibney. The film details the story of the young Cuban and has exclusive interviews with Elián González and his family in both Cuba and Miami. The film was co-produced by Fine Point Films and Jigsaw Productions and has a voiceover by Raul Esparza. The film premiered on April 19, 2017, at the Tribeca Film Festival. It opened in limited release in May, and appeared on CNN Films in August 2017. Elián was featured in HBO movie 537 Votes.
Currently, Elián González is 27 years, 10 months and 19 days old. Elián González will celebrate 28th birthday on a Monday 6th of December 2021.
Find out about Elián González birthday activities in timeline view here.