Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan says the U.S. government should allow 6-year-old shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez to present his case in court instead of forcing him to return to his father in Cuba.
"It is alarming to think that in refusing Elian his day in court, the full truth in his situation may never be heard," the Havana-born Estefan, who came to the United States soon after Cuba's 1959 revolution, reportedly told Reuters. "We urge our government to grant Elian the opportunity to present his case without extraordinary and uncommon conditions."
Estefan said she had spoken to Attorney General Janet Reno about the case, and Reno was "very kind and listened to everything I had to say."
Gonzalez's fate has been debated since he was rescued at sea in November, after the boat carrying him, his mother and a group of other Cubans sank. His mother was one of 11 who drowned. Relatives in Miami, who want to keep Gonzalez in the United States, took in the boy. But the U.S. government has said Gonzalez should be returned to his father in Cuba.
Estefan, who helped bring Latin American music into the mainstream in the '80s, recently scored a hit with pop group 'N Sync on the song "Music of My Heart" (RealAudio excerpt). The song was nominated for a Grammy but lost to Santana's collaboration with matchbox twenty singer Rob Thomas on "Smooth."