Elian González Joins Twitter On His 25th Birthday

Elian González Brotóns, the man who was once at the center of a major custody battle which involved the U.S. and Cuban governments, has joined Twitter.

González Brotóns, who created the account using his father’s last name and the last name of his late mother, posted his first tweet on Thursday, the same day Cuba announced that they would be allowing its citizens full internet access for mobile phones.

In his tweet, he says he joined Twitter on his 25th birthday. He goes on to thank Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel for wishing him well on his birthday, and will continue to support him. He then says that his goal is to not disappoint “Cubans with dignity.”

On Thursday, President Díaz-Canel wished González Brotóns a happy birthday on Twitter, and referred to him as the son and grandson of “Cubans with dignity,” and all of Cuba. The tweet went on to say that the battle for his freedom, led by Cuban leader Fidel Castro, showed how they can overcome challenges together.

In 2000, González Brotóns was just shy of his sixth birthday when the small boat carrying him, his mother and a dozen others went down near Florida. González Brotóns’s mother was among those who perished. Elian was found floating in an inner tube and rescued by a fisherman.

González Brotóns would then become the center of a bitter custody battle between his relatives in Miami who wished to keep him in the United States and his father. The international custody battle became a hot button issue during the 2000 U.S. presidential campaign and a central focus for the U.S. and Cuban governments.

After a five month battle, González Brotóns was eventually taken by U.S. federal agents at gunpoint in Miami and was repatriated to Cuba, where he would rejoin his father.

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