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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A 3-week-old baby is at the center of a dispute between her father in Cuba and the family of her mother in the United States.
The dispute might be one that could evoke memories of a similar dispute in year’s past of a then little boy named Elian Gonzalez.
Now in 2018, the newborn in the new dispute is called Valeria and her mother, who died giving birth to her was Yarisleidy Cuba Rodríguez.
The baby’s father, Yoelvis Gattorno, wants her back in Cuba while her mother’s cousin, Nairobis Pacheco, wants to keep her in Miami.
Well known Miami immigration attorney Willie Allan says, “This is not Elian. Elian was not born here.”
Allan says the newborn has all the rights of an American citizen but it is the father, the surviving parent who should determine where she should live.
Gattorno has accused Pacheco who has 3 children of her own of denying him information about his child but she showed El Nuevo Herald several exchanges which she claims show she is not denying him information.
Gattorno has also alleged that the Pacheco family filed a lawsuit against Jackson Memorial Hospital over Cuba Rodriguez’s death and that’s why Pacheco wants custody of Valeria. His attorney is working with U.S. Federal Authorities to secure a humanitarian visa so the father can come to Miami and meet his child for the first time. Attorney Claudia Canizares told CBS4, “they have decided to expedite it. We are hoping for a response in the next few weeks.
Pacheco told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald that she has not filed any lawsuit.
“My only motivation for seeking temporary custody was to avoid putting her in foster care. I never wanted to take her away from her father, just to honor the memory of my first cousin, who put me in charge before her death,” Pacheco told the Herald, reiterating that Cuba Rodriguez identified Pacheco as her responsible next of kin.
Cuba Rodriguez who was 34-years-old when she died lived in Pacheco’s house after winning a U.S. visa lottery. She came to the United States in October.
For Pacheco, her main concern is that Valeria’s father wants to raise her in Cuba – separate from her sister who has a different father and lives in the United States.
“My cousin always wanted to live in the United States. That’s why she emigrated,” she told the Herald. Attorney Willy Allan told CBS4, “A cousin does not have more power than a father to decide where to raise a child.”