February 4, 2000

Ms. Janet Reno, Attorney General of the United States
Washington, D.C.
Fax: 202 307-6777, 202 514-5331

Dear Ms. Reno:

I was shocked by what I saw last night on the Spanish network UNIVISION and I am surprised that I did not see it on NBC, ABC, CBS or in The Washington Post. It was a replay of the Cuban government’s live TV press conference with Mariela Quintana and Raquel Rodriguez, Elián González’s grandmothers.

At the press conference, Mrs. Quintana, the paternal grandmother, said of the meeting with 6-year-old Elián at Sister Jennie O’Laughlin’s house in Miami, "I pulled his little tongue from his mouth . . . I bit it, and started bothering him . . .. I even opened his little fly . . . let me see my, my . . . the pair of . . . [genitals]. Let me see if it has grown . . .. Well, I was misbehaving to cheer him up."

I was born of a humble family in Cárdenas, the same city where Elián and his family came from and lived in Cuba for 21 years. I can assure you that such behavior was NOT customary or acceptable in that city or anywhere in my country.

But even if society there has degenerated to the point where it has become acceptable, biting a child’s tongue is child abuse. Even for a parent to touch a child’s private parts for the purpose of cheering him up is sexual abuse.

How can it possibly be in the best interests of this child to deliberately place him in an environment where such abuse is accepted? What other child abuse is also accepted there that we do not yet know about?

Perhaps a warrant should be issued for Ms. Quintana for her actions while on US soil.

I hope you will seriously take into account this additional information and reconsider your decision to send Elián to Cuba.


Agustín Blázquez


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