BY JORGE CORRALES
Elián González, the 6-year-old boy who was on every Miami television screen in 2000, made his way back to American airwaves Monday morning.
In an interview with Jim Avila of ABC News, he opened up about his his life in Cuba and his feelings toward the United States.
“I want to take the time to thank the American people for their love,” González said in English.
Elián first came into the public eye in 1999 when fishermen found him clinging to an inner tube in the Atlantic. A boat carrying his mother and 10 other Cubans fleeing the country capsized, killing everyone aboard — except the young boy.
“I was floating alone in the middle of the sea, that’s the last thing I remember,” he told ABC in the first of several interviews airing through the day and evening.
His rescue led to an international custody battle between his father, Juan Miguel González, and his Miami relatives who took him in.
The standoff ended in April 2000 when armed federal agents entered the Miami home where Elián was staying and seized the boy. Within hours, he was on a plane back to Cuba.
That 6-year-old boy is now a 21-year-old man with a beard and a fiancée.
In the interview, he said that he is not angry with his American relatives. He even added that he would like to visit the United States one day.
He also said he would visit his family in Miami again — under one condition that the network did not immediately reveal.
Part of the interview aired early on Good Morning America. Other parts will air Monday evening onWorld News Tonight with David Murr and on Nightline.