armed agents of the INS arrived in white vans shortly after 5 a.m. and
used battering rams to knock through the home’s chain-link fence and front
door. The agents, clad in camouflage with guns held up, found Elian in
a closet with his great aunt and one of the fishermen who rescued him on
Thanksgiving Day after the shipwreck .
“If we had been armed, this would not have happened. I have lost faith
in the government,” Elian’s great-uncle Lazaro Gonzalez said. Relatives
said the raid itself was chaotic and that Elian was frightened. In an emotional
interview three hours after the ordeal, Marisleysis Gonzalez emotionally
recounted the seizure and angrily blamed Reno and President Clinton for
[This was carried live by CBS and NBC; however, on CBS Dan Rather
chose to TALK OVER the most damaging parts of Marisleysis Gonzalez
narrative, making it difficult to hear.]
“Give me the boy or I’m going to shoot, give me the boy” she said an
She said INS agents ran into the family room,
ran into her room and broke her bed, and broke her mother’s bed. She said
she was yelling back: “Please don't let the boy see this, he saw his mother
die. ... I’ll give you the boy.”
Marisleysis said she was grateful to the supporters gathered outside
her house and reiterated that her family has also asked that there be no
violence, but she said she was still concerned about Elian’s condition
after the raid.
“How can this boy be OK when he has a gun at his head, my other little
cousin had a gun at his head, an innocent too,” she said.
She said she blamed both Reno and Clinton for treating the family “like
“I want to tell everyone out there that the president of the United
States dishonored his country ... He should be ashamed. ... He made that
order. He made it and I’m sure he pressured Janet Reno to do it,” she said.