MIAMI – A custody fight between Cuban relatives in South Florida and a Cuban father on the communist island is reminding many of the Elián González case. But while Elián was born in Cuba, Valeria, the baby girl at the center of the dispute was born in Miami.
Yoelvis Gattorno, who is from Santa Clara, Cuba, claims Valeria is his daughter. His story sparked the interest of reporters from Univision 23, Telemundo 51 and El Nuevo Herald. In a March 12 Facebook post, Gattorno shared a public request.
"I ask everyone to pray a lot and ask God to help me be reunited with my baby," Gattorno wrote in Spanish.
Gattorno fears relatives in South Florida are going to try to keep him away from his daughter. It’s an accusation that relatives discredited during an interview with Telemundo, saying it was a matter of either them taking the baby or the Florida Department of Children and Families would.
Gattorno told reporters his wife of three years, Yarisleidy Cuba Rodriguez, was pregnant when she arrived to Miami in October. She died at Jackson Memorial Hospital, while giving birth to Valeria March 2, and was registered at the hospital as a single mother.
Cuba Rodriguez has a teenage daughter who lives in Kendall. Her cousin Nairobi Pacheco, who lives in Miami-Dade, filed a malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and has temporary custody of his daughter.