Some people wait a lifetime to be on the cover of Time magazine. It is a goal they strive for; and achievement marked with high importance. But it is none of those things to a six year-old boy found floating in an inner tube off the Florida Keys. His name is Elian Gonzalez and he is in a very big battle for a small boy.
It all began in 1997 when Elian's mother, Elizabet Gonzalez, began a relationship with Lazaro Munero. She was divorced from Juan Miquel Gonzalez, Elian's father. Munero had previously escaped to the United States and had amassed over "100 pages of reports" with the Cuban Government. He came back to Cuba because he missed Elizabet and his family. He was thrown in jail for a few months. After his release he persuaded Elizabet to return to the United States with him in search of freedom. He began repairing a boat and recruiting passengers for the trip.
He charged them $1000.00 each.
They left on Sunday, November 21st at 4:30 a.m. Their hopes were to make it to America before the next sunrise. Munero packed water, cheese, bread, and hot dogs for his fifteen passengers. They had not gone even a mile off of the shore and the engine failed. Munero steered the boat back to shore where a passenger, Arianne Horta placed her five year-old daughter back on land. The group of fourteen now headed back to sea. That night they ran into a rough storm South of the Florida Keys and the motor failed again. Shortly after the boat capsized and the passengers were forced to float in two large inner tubes that hey used as life preservers. The women and Elian were in one inner tube and the men in the other.