HAVANA -- Video clips of congressmen, high-powered attorneys and television news personalities from the long-demonized United States are suddenly staples on communist Cuba's state television.
Polls showing a majority of Americans think 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez should be returned to Cuba, as well as like-minded editorials from leading U.S. newspapers, are reprinted in the Communist Party newspaper.
Since the custody battle over Elian began, Fidel Castro's government has found itself in rare agreement with a majority of Americans and even President Clinton -- and it has gone out of its way to make sure Cubans understand that not everyone in the United States holds the anti-Castro views of many Cuban exiles in Miami.
''There is no controversy between the governments of Cuba and the United States,'' Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba's National Assembly, said earlier this year. Washington officials ''very clearly have recognized that this child should be returned to his father as quickly as possible.''
Havana's real fight has been with leaders in Miami's Cuban-American community, who are battling to keep Elian in the United States and have used the case to attack Castro, their political nemesis.
While using the case to lash out at them, the Cuban government also has reached out to other Americans who in this post Cold War-era no longer view communist Cuba strictly through an ideological prism.
''This case is showing the potential for compromise between the U.S. and Cuba,'' said Susan Eckstein, a Cuba specialist from Boston University.
According to a Newsweek poll released Saturday, 53 percent of Americans believe Elian should be returned to his father in Cuba.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.