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Boat boy's father ends talk in frustration.

The father of boat boy Elian Gonzalez yesterday told a prominent protestant minister that he is through with negotiating for the return of his tug-of-love son.

Mr Juan Miguel Gonzalez made his comments as United States Attorney General Ms Janet Reno planned to fly to Miami to try to personally settle the four-month-old custody dispute.

"She's planning to work out a resolution, trying to meet with the parties concerned to seek a cooperative settlement in this case," said Justice Department spokesman Mr Myron Marlin.

Meanwhile, federal officials continued working on a letter telling six-year-old Elian's Miami relatives to give him up at once.

The boy's father, in a meeting with the Rev Joan Brown Campbell, said he would "simply ask now that the Attorney General issue a court order and that the boy be returned immediately to him," according to Rev Campbell.

She said he was "frustrated because the negotiations broke down and he doesn't have his son."

Rev Campbell went to Havana to help bring Mr Gonzalez to the United States for his son.

Nevertheless, the Cuban American National Foundation, a Cuban exile group, said it still hoped to set up a meeting.

Mr Marlin said Ms Reno would meet with the Miami relatives who have cared for Elian since he was found in November floating in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida - survivor of a boat that sank, killing his mother and ten others.

Ms Reno was taking a dramatic step in the government's effort to help forge a last-minute separate peace between the Miami relatives and Elian's father that could lead to a prompt and peaceful transfer.

Some Cuban-Americans in Miami, bitter enemies of the Castro government, had threatened to form a human chain around the home of Mr Lazaro Gonzalez if federal officials tried to take Elian away.

Miami mayor Mr Joe Carollo predicted there would be no violence.

Police used chains to safeguard the barricades in front of the great- uncle's home.

Resting on the fence in front of the house is a large sign - "Castro, this is how I want to see you" - with a drawing of Fidel Castro's face on top of a coffin.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 13, 2000
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