Elian Gonzalez Says He'd Like to Return to the U.S. (Video)

ABC

Elian Gonzalez gives his first American TV interview to 'Good Morning America.'

Good Morning America spoke with Elian Gonzalez for his first American TV interview as an adult, spending three days with him in Cuba.

Gonzalez, 21, made national headlines in 1999 when his mother died trying to escape Cuba for Florida on a boat with him. He stayed with his uncle in Miami before U.S. Marshals forcibly removed Gonzalez to return him to his father in Cuba.

"To the American people, first I say thank you for the love they give me," Gonzalez told GMA. "I want the time to give my love to American people."


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When asked what place he'd like to visit in the world, Gonzalez said he'd like to visit the United States. "For my family it has always been — we always have the desire to say to the American people — to say to each household our gratitude, appreciation and love that we have," he said. "Perhaps one day we could pay a visit to the United States. I could personally thank those people who helped us, who were there by our side. Because we're so grateful for what they did."

Gonzalez talked about the activities he'd like to do in the United States, including seeing a baseball game, and revealed he is engaged to his high school sweetheart. He said while he disagrees with his mother's decision to leave Cuba, he feels she fought hard to keep him alive on the boat and is grateful to her for saving his life.

Watch the video above, and see Gonzalez take his first selfie, which he said he will post as a Facebook profile photo once he has sufficient Internet access in Cuba.

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