Thursday, September 06, 2007

Father Testifies In Cuban Custody Case


Local 10

Foster Parents Fighting To Keep 4-Year-Old In Miami

POSTED: 1:03 pm EDT September 6, 2007
UPDATED: 1:27 pm EDT September 6, 2007

MIAMI -- The father of a 4-year-old girl in a Cuban custody dispute testified for the first time Thursday.

Rafael Izquierdo wants to bring his daughter back to Cuba, while her foster parents want to keep her in Miami.

"All I wanted to say is that we're doing very well," Izquierdo said through a translator. "I'm doing very well with my daughter and her sister is doing pretty well with her little sister."

The case began in 2004 when the girl's mother, Elena Perez, won the visa lottery to come to the United States with her son and daughter, each of whom has a different father. Both fathers agreed to allow their children to go, but Perez was hospitalized after a suicide attempt in December 2005.

The children were put in foster care and ended up with Joe Cubas, 46, and his wife. Perez agreed to allow them to adopt her son, now 13, but not her daughter with Izquierdo, 32.

Izquierdo, a farmer from the central Cuban village of Cabaiguan, said he wants to bring his daughter back to his family home, where he lives with his parents, wife and their 7-year-old daughter.

Perez has said she wants the girl to go back to her father.

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