April 6th, 2010
08:27 PM ET

Cuba releases photos of 16-year-old Elian Gonzalez

Cuba has published photos of Elian Gonzalez, the boy who sparked a political battle with the U.S. in 2000, attending a gathering of the Union of Communist Youth.

Gonzalez, 16, appears in the olive-green uniform of the military school he attends, waving a Cuban flag, in photos posted on an official Cuban Web site, Cubadebate.cu.

Gonzalez was picked up in an inner tube off the coast of Florida when he was 5 years old. His mother drowned trying to reach the U.S. on a raft, and a bitter custody battle ensued between his father in Cuba and relatives in South Florida.

Fidel Castro, then Cuba’s leader, led massive marches demanding his return, and when the boy finally did fly back to Cuba, he was received as a hero.

The photos were taken during the annual meeting of the Union of Communist Youth held over the weekend; Gonzalez joined in 2008. The headline over the photos reads: “Elian Gonzalez, a look 10 years later.”

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Filed under: Cuba • World
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. rob

    in response to john's comments about our education and health care system. they may not be perfect but they are much better than what most countries have.

    April 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Freebirdx6

    Bien dicho Tyler! Well said !!!!

    April 7, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Darren

    The nut who posted about cuban education and healthcare being better in cuba than here... I would encourage to go live there. Cuba is a dump- run by communists where people have little hope. So do you really think his life is better- no freedom of choice, no opportunity to advancement, no hope to achieve anything. He can be a good communist and that's it.

    April 8, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Charlie

    Funny how we make assumptions on motives based solely on who wanted to be in the US and who wanted to be in Cuba. The mother was courageous and wanted freedom. The father was a communist puppet. A good patriotic story requires a good guy and a bad guy.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ruler4You

    He looks like a fine young man. I'm sure he has been well indoctrinated, but no more so than he would have been here.

    April 8, 2010 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rob H. Cuban

    WOW, I was amazed to see my comment posted on CNN, all I said was everyone defending communist Cuba and how bad the USA is should go to live there in exchange for the 10 million people that want to come to this bad country of ours and leave that paradise behind. Now I see it was deleted, I guess my first impression of CNN was always correct. Can't offend the Castro's News Network, but still happy some good (against the cuban regime) comments are still there so as not appear biased.

    April 8, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. nene

    My heart goes out to this young man, I can still remember seeing him on T.V. when they took him away. His mother gave her life for him. May he be in the Grace of God, my prayers are with him.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jackson Pearson

    Amazing how gullible Americans are to swallow communist propaganda from Cuba. For years and years Cubans have risked body and soul to make it to the United States, anyway they can...have any of you brain washed dolts ever asked why? Then comrade Clinton forcibly hands this poster child back to a brutal communist regime!

    June 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kuti

    Where is he now

    October 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
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