Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the Dakota Access pipeline protests or news about this unprecedented US presidential election—and our coverage is never paid for by the oil and gas companies or the campaigns and superPACs. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on your support. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $8 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Grandmothers of Elian Gonzalez Return to Cuba Without Their Grandchild

January 31, 2000


Cheered by thousands of Cubans, the grandmothers of Elian Gonzalez returned to Cuba yesterday to a celebrity welcome after a U.S. trip that stirred public opinion but failed to bring their grandson home.

The women, Raquel Rodriguez and Mariela Quintana, spent nine days in the United States lobbying for the return of 6-year-old Elian, who is at the center of a highly politicized custody tug-of-war between his father in Cuba and distant relatives in Miami.

Elian was rescued at sea after a boat carrying Cuban migrants capsized, drowning his mother and 10 others who were trying to get to the United States. In Miami’s Cuban exile community, protests have been made in court and on the street to keep the child in the United States.

Elian Gonzalez has become a "cause celebre" against Cuban president Fidel Castro for the conservative Cuban American exiles in Miami, where so far two judges who had been assigned the case had to admit that they had political ties to Elian’s Miami relatives, and a nun who hosted a meeting between the grandmothers and the child was later revealed to have ties with the conservative Cuban American National Foundation. Hundreds of people participated in a protest in Miami over the weekend asking the U.S. government to send Elian Gonzalez home to his family.


  • Rev. Lucius Walker, from Pastors for Peace, which organized this weekend’s demonstration in Miami.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.