Your thoughts on the 'Elian In Reverse' Sagagreenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Wild Wild West : One Thread
This story doesn't seem to be garnering much media attention, but I'm curious what the Wild Wild Westers have to say:
Take 'Reverse Elian' Case
MIAMI (AP) - In a case of Elian Gonzalez in reverse, a man claims his ex-wife took off for Cuba with their 5-year-old son, and the federal government is offering to help get the boy back.
Jon Colombini, 31, discovered last week that his son, ex-wife and her boyfriend were missing. He believes his Cuba-born former wife has returned to her native country with the boy, since she has relatives there.
"I'm going to do whatever it takes to get my child back," said Colombini, who has joint custody of his son Jonathon.
The FBI and the State Department said they are working to get the boy back.
"Since the mother and father had joint custody she was not in her rights to remove the child from Florida," said Judy Orihuela, an FBI spokeswoman.
But Cuba does not have an extradition treaty with the United States and that "clouds the issue," she said.
The State Department said it was working with U.S. officials in Havana on the case. "Our immediate goals are first of all to locate the child and second of all to verify the child's well-being," said spokesman Richard Boucher in Washington.
There was no immediate comment on the case Tuesday from Cuban government officials.
Colombini believes his ex-wife, Arletis Blanco, 28, and her boyfriend, Agustin Lemus, 37, both of Key Largo, sailed to Cuba on a family member's open-fishing boat last week. Colombini said Blanco never told him she planned to leave the United States with Jonathon.
"Up to this point we haven't had a problem" with shared custody, he said.
Colombini, a U.S.-born restaurant kitchen manager, said he is aware of the parallels between his case and that of Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy who arrived in South Florida last Thanksgiving after he survived a boat wreck in which his mother and her boyfriend were killed.
After a long court battle, Elian returned to Cuba with his father. Despite the protests of the boy's U.S. relatives, the U.S. government backed the father, saying that with the mother dead, only he could speak for his 6-year-old child's interests.
"I realize the similarities are there," Colombini said, but "I want this to be its own unique situation."
"Just like everybody was looking out for Elian's best interests, I think we need to do the same with Jonathon," Colombini said. "He's very intelligent. He's very articulate. I'd like to see him develop here."
Colombini said he hasn't talked to his wife in Cuba, but he has talked to relatives of hers in the United States who have contact with relatives in Cuba. He said those relatives say she is in Cuba.
Colombini's story was first reported in Tuesday's Miami Herald.
-- Dr. Pibb (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 02, 2000
new answers, new answers, new answers
-- Dr. Pibb (email@example.com), December 02, 2000.
Well, the mother didn't die at sea. That is one difference. A second difference is that Cuba does not have a Janet Reno to "rescue" Jonathon. A third difference is that this incident will not be a cause-celebe in this country. I mean, who cares? Has anyone heard of Jonathon?
Have a good life, kid.
-- (Paracelsus@Pb.Au), December 02, 2000.
Dr. Pibb, this sort situation is nothing new. The book and subsequent movie, "Not Without My Daughter," helped to call attention to the problem of children either being taken (or kept) in countries where one parent didn't want to live. In Jonthan's case, I predict that he will remain in Cuba, unless the father gets some major legal and media support behind him. It isn't cheap to fight a battle like this, and many parents either hire bounty hunters to bring the child(ren) back to the US or give up after the legal expenses reach $20K.
The sequel to the book, "Not Without My Daughter," sorry don't remember the title, goes into the struggles of other American and British parents and what they did to attempt to reclaim their children.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 02, 2000.
It also seems Ms Blanco embezzeled her employer for a couple hundred grand and then split the country.
-- Deano (email@example.com), December 04, 2000.
One of the reasons why I strongly objected to Elian remaining in the U.S. against the wishes of his father was because there are THOUSANDS of children who have been removed from the U.S. by one parent [not necessarily the parent having custody], claiming that the U.S. has an oppressive government. When presented with an order for return, many of these countries accept the order under their own laws, but the order isn't carried out and the children are never seen again by the other parent.
-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), December 04, 2000.