The Elian Gonzalez case was touching raw nerves.
The Elian Gonzalez case was touching raw nerves.


. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS World News Roundup – April 21, 2000 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

On this April 21st in 2000 it was not only Good Friday it was also a day of protests and emotions in Miami. The Elian Gonzalez case was rapidly coming to a boil and the Justice Department was attempting to move quickly to diffuse the situation from getting any further out of hand.

The Cuban-American community voiced loud opposition to Washington’s decision to reunite the 6 year-old boy with his father back in Havana. Protestors hit the streets and confrontations took place between Police and crowds. And for a time it threatened to get out of hand.

But Washington was adamant that Elian Gonzalez needed to be back home with his father.

The boy, who accompanied his mother in an attempted refugee migration from Cuba to the U.S. took a deadly turn when the boat they were in sank, drowning Gonzalez’ mother. Elian was rescued and brought to Miami, where relatives offered to take care of the boy. But his biological father was still in Havana, and the INS felt it was the only legal alternative that Elian be taken back to Havana.

Not so, demanded many members of the Cuban-American community, and a fight to keep Elian in the U.S. was well underway. Similar protests were taking place in Havana, only they were demanding Elian’s return.

There was other news going on, this April 21st in 2000.

Another law protecting kids surfing the Internet took effect today. The law was designed to protect underage youth from predators and those seeking personal information from their families.

A gruesome railroad grade-crossing accident took the lives of two women and two children riding with them, as Police sought witnesses as well as one of the women’s former boyfriends in the cause of the deadly accident. 911 calls revealed one of the women was being pursued by two men, who rammed the car from the rear, forcing it into the path of an oncoming train.

The Russian Duma approved a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, one week after approving the ratification of the START II Arms Reduction Treaty and just ahead of a UN Conference on halting the spread of nuclear weapons. Many saw it as a move to upstage the US who had rejected the Test Ban Treaty the year before.

And President Clinton met with PLO Chairman Yassar Arafat for three hours in an attempt to get the Middle-East Peace talks back on track before the September deadline. Both Israel and the PLO asked the U.S. to take a more active role in the talks and President Clinton was encouraged by what he saw as a genuine attempt to tackle some of the thorny issues in the Peace Settlement.

And that’s a little of what went on, this April 21st in 2000 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.

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