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Elian Gonzalez Turns 18
Elian González, the Cuban boy who survived a perilous raft journey that killed his mother and became a symbol of troubled relations between the United States and Cuba, is now an adult.
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April 22, 2000: Seven-year-old Elian Gonzales became the centre of a major political storm when Miami-based relatives defied a US court order to return the boy to his father's custody in Cuba. After days of protests around the family home, a pre-dawn raid by armed Border Patrol officers was captured on camera, the terrified-looking boy apparently being grabbed by a uniformed man with a gun.

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Elian Gonzalez turns 18 - 11 years after the infamous raid that sent him back to Cuba after arriving in the United States on a raft.

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File: Elian Gonzalez celebrates his seventh birthday on December 7, 2000 at the Marcelo Saldo school in Cardenas,100 miles east of Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Jorge Rey/Newsmakers)

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File: Marisleysis Gonzalez carries her cousin, Elian Gonzalez, while playing outdoors April 19, 2000 in the Little Havana district of Miami. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta upheld the decision to keep Elian in the United States until all appeals for custody are complete. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

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Elian Gonzalez Hugs His Father Juan Miguel Gonzalez At Andrews Air Force Base In Maryland April 23, 2000. (Photo By Getty Images)

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The crowd of protesters outside Elian Gonzalez's Little Havan home in Miami celebrate the court ruling April 19, 2000 which keeps the six-year-old Cuban boy in the U.S. through May. Miguel Saavedra hugs Jose Rodriguez as a celebratory bottle of champagne is hoisted up. (Photo by Chuck Fadely/Miami Herald)

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Demonstrators burn tires and wave flags after Elian Gonzalez was taken from his Miami home April 22, 2000. (Photo by Joe Raedle)

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Demonstrators react on the Flaggler street and 27th Ave. intersection in Little Havana, Miami after the INS seizure of Elian Gonzalez in the morning hours of April 22, 2000. At approximately 4:30 am, armed federal agents raided the home, snatching the six year-old boy to be taken to his father in Maryland. As news of the raid spread, crowds of protesters grew in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, blocking traffic and setting small fires. (Photo by Pedro Portal/Miami Herald)

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An unidentified man is taken down by Miami Police officers along Flagler St. April 22, 2000 after Elian Gonzalez was removed from family's home in Miami by INS officers in a predawn raid. (Photo by Gaston De Cardenas/Miami Herald)

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Cuban President Fidel Castro talks with shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez July 14, 2001 in Cardenas City, Cuba. Castro presided over the ceremony to inaugurate a museum dedicated to the custody battle over Gonzalez. (Photo by Jorge Rey/Getty Images)

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Delfin Gonzalez, great uncle of Elian Gonzalez, sits on the bed October 19, 2001 that Elian Gonzalez slept on while in the Miami, Florida house before he was returned to Cuba. On Sunday, the former residence of the Gonzalez family will make its debut as a museum to Elian, who became a symbol to Miami's Cuban community. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Elian Gonzalez Turns 18

Elian González, the Cuban boy who survived a perilous raft journey that killed his mother and became a symbol of troubled relations between the United States and Cuba, is now an adult.

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