US-Cuba Custody battle
From the Miami Herald-
A fisherman in Cuba who is fighting for custody of his 4-year-old daughter living in Coral Gables will be allowed to come to the United States this summer for as long as 45 days to make his case to a Miami judge.I blogged previously about this girl here.
The U.S. State Department's decision to allow the man, a fisherman and officeworker from Guayos, to enter the United States is an about-face from an earlier decision to deny him entry, sources have told The Miami Herald.
Permitting the father to argue on his own behalf could dramatically strengthen his hand in the international custody dispute -- especially if he can extend his stay.
That's because under state law, most parents seeking to regain custody of their children are offered a chance to do so by completing a series of court-ordered tasks, such as attending parenting classes or psychological counseling.
The Cuban dad's Miami-based attorney, Ira Kurzban, plans to ask for just such an extension, a source has told The Miami Herald. Extensions are relatively common, though they are determined on a case-by-case basis. Kurzban declined to discuss the case because the judge, Jeri Beth Cohen, has ordered everyone involved to remain silent.
The man, who is not being identified by The Miami Herald to protect the little girl's privacy, has been fighting the Department of Children & Families to gain custody of his daughter since she was taken away from her mother, who came to the United States in March 2005. The mom, who also is not being named, was hospitalized with severe emotional problems.
The little girl and her 12-year-old brother, who has a different father, are living with a Cuban-American family in Coral Gables.
Reached by telephone Thursday at his home in central Cuba, the father said he just got the news this week that he will be allowed to visit and does not yet know how many days he will be allowed to remain in the United States or when he'll be able to make the trip.
Unless the father is shown as unable to care for the child, the girl should go back to Cuba. This isn't shouldn't be about politics but who the child's parents are. If the mother is incapable of caring for the girl, the father should get custody.
Rick at SOTP is also commenting.
Linked to- Bullwinkle, Is it just me? Jo, StikNstein,