On November 22, TFP supporter Sergio de Paz brought a pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home where Cuban child refugee Elian Gonzalez spent four short months. The six-year old boy was rescued at sea while escaping from communist Cuba. He became the center of a diplomatic battle which ended when he was forcefully removed by government officials in the predawn hours of Holy Saturday, 2000. After Elian was returned to Cuba, the home became a museum dedicated to him.
Mr. de Paz, who is also president of the Cuban organization Cubanos Desterrados, organized the event to commemorate the sixth anniversary of Elian’s rescue at sea, on Thanksgiving Day, 1999. The boy’s great-uncles Lazaro and Delfin and his great-aunt Caridad, crowned the statue which is a replica of the miraculous statue that shed tears in New Orleans in 1972.
The commemorative event held special significance for Elian’s relatives and was followed by a press conference, aired on many local TV channels, including Fox, Telemundo and Univision. During the press conference, Delfin recalled the statement made by Elian when TFP representatives brought the statue to visit him six years ago. While gazing at the statue, Elian said: “She is the nice lady that protected me for 24 hours on the water, but she did not have that thing [the crown] on her head.”
Elian’s relatives also reiterated their firm belief that Our Heavenly Mother will protect him now in Cuba, until the coming of her reign, which she foresaw in Fatima when she said, “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”