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|Sunday, June 04, 2000, updated at 10:40(GMT+8)|
70,000 Cubans Demand Elian's ReturnMore than 70,000 people demanded Saturday the return of raft boy Elian Gonzalez to Cuba during an open forum held in the Banes in the east of the island.
The mass concentration was attended by Cuban Defense Minister Raul Castro, the commanders of the Revolutionary Armed Frorces Juan Almeida, Guillermo Garcia and Ramiro Valdes, as well as other leaders of the government and of the Communist Youth.
The speakers at the open forum condemned the U.S. Cuban Adjustment Law that legalizes the status of Cuban emigrants who arrive in U.S. territory, the Torricelli Law and the Helms-Burton law that hardens the U.S. embargo against the island.
They concurred in their rejection of "Yankee imperialism" that wants "to grab Cuba," and repeated their demand that Elian return to his country immediately.
The Atlanta Court of Appeals decided Thursday that Elian has no right to a hearing to request political asylum, but granted the suitors 14 days to file an appeal.
For that reason, Elian cannot return to Cuba before that term.
The raft boy is now in Washington with his father, his stepmother, and his baby brother.
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