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PBS Plans Elian Gonzalez Documentary

January 25, 2001

MIAMI (AP) _ PBS’s news series ``Frontline″ examines the Elian Gonzalez saga and its effect on South Florida in an hour-long documentary called ``Saving Elian,″ airing next month.

The program uses news video footage shot in Cuba and the United States to retrace the seven-month custody battle that began Thanksgiving Day 1999, when Elian was found off the Florida coast after a boat wreck that killed his mother and 10 other people. It depicts South Florida as an ethnically fragmented community whose divisions were exacerbated by the fight over the Cuban boy.

``In my heart I feel that Elian belongs with his father, but I know that if I go to Little Havana and I say exactly what I feel ... I am going to be very disliked,″ says Eloisa Echazabal, one of a handful of Cuban-Americans interviewed who said Elian’s place was with his father. Each had misgivings about expressing their views to other Cubans.

The documentary’s interviews provide a range of opinions on the international custody case, but neither Cuban government officials nor any of Elian’s relatives agreed to speak to ``Frontline.″

``Saving Elian″ airs at 10 p.m. EST Feb. 6 on PBS.


On the Net: www.pbs.org/frontline/

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