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Elian's Father Gets Medal From Castro

World IN BRIEF / CUBA

July 06, 2000|From Times Wire Reports

Elian Gonzalez's father, Juan Miguel, received one of Cuba's top civilian awards for his "heroic behavior" during his fight to bring his son back to Cuba. Gonzalez had tears in his eyes when President Fidel Castro pinned the medal to his suit after a two-hour ceremony. "I have not done anything out of this world," he said. "I have done what any other father would have." Addressing Gonzalez, Castro said: "You showed that in the decisive moments in the history of a country, the conduct of a man can overcome all of the traitors put together, just as those who tried to cheapen your child." Before the ceremony, Elian was seen on state TV riding his bicycle in his hometown and splashing in a pool at a nearby resort.

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