Protestors Greet Elian and Father at Base

July 7, 2008 - 7:25 PM

Andrews AFB, MD ( - About two dozen anti-Castro protesters assembled outside the main gate of Andrews Air Force Base Saturday to protest the federal government's decision to take six-year-old Elian Gonzalez away from his Miami relatives.

One protester held a sign that read: "Clinton to Elian: Go To Hell." The demonstrator was dressed in a devil costume. Other protesters held Cuban and American flags, and a young boy held a sign that said, "Human Rights According to the Rule of Clinton and Reno: Send an Innocent Refugee Back to a Killer."

One of the protesters at Andrews AFB was Veronica Cervera-Goeseke, 45, who told, "there was no need to use force to take the boy from the home of his American relatives."

"In 1961, I was a 6 year old child put on a plane and sent out from Cuba," said Cervera-Goeseke.

"I was shocked to see the gun pointed at the child," said Cervera-Goeseke, a reference to the raid by federal agents on the home of Elian's relatives.

12-year old Carolina Goeseke was protesting outside Andrews AFB with her parents, who were visiting relatives in the Washington, DC area. The girl said she watched video of federal agents taking Elian from the Miami home of his relatives and told, "I knew how he felt. He was scared. They had no right," to storm into the home and take the boy.

At least one demonstrator had a change of heart regarding her feelings about the Gonzalez case after watching video of the raid.

Falisa Peoples, a student at Washington's Georgetown University told that after speaking with Cuban-Americans protesting the seizure of the boy, she changed her opinion about the case.

"I don't think (Elian) should go back to Cuba," said Peoples, who was holding a sign asking 'Mr. Clinton, where's your heart?'

Demonstrator Jamesa Moone of Silver Spring, Maryland, told that she came to Andrews AFB to "show support for the Cuban-American community," and said "I disagree with the way (Elian) was removed from his home."

Also expressing concerns Saturday was Nickel Goeseke, who was visiting the Washington area with his family, who live in Miami.

Goeseke was holding a sign that read, "Clinton-Reno: Remember America Sent Jews Back To Hitler."

Holding a German sign to represent his own citizenship, Goeske said that there was little if any difference between Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro and Germany's Adolf Hitler.

"He's not an inch better than Hitler," Goeseke told

Goeseke noted that in the 1930's, a shipload of Jews seeking to escape Nazi Germany were sent back from the United States.

"They were sent back and died in concentration camps," said Goeseke who said sending Elian back to Cuba would be tantamount to the same treatment received by the Jews at the hands of Hitler.

A brief shouting match erupted Saturday afternoon between Cuban-American demonstrators and one man who agreed with the way the Clinton Administration handled the Gonzalez case and the prospect of sending the child back to Cuba.

"The boy should be with his father," yelled the unidentified man.

An unidentified woman protester with a Spanish accent yelled back "You should go to Cuba and experience it for yourself."