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Cuban father gets custody in settlement
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published November 29, 2007
MIAMI - A Cuban farmer would get sole custody of his 5-year-old daughter under a settlement reached Wednesday in a lengthy court battle involving the girl's U.S. foster parents and state officials, according to a person familiar with the deal.
Under the settlement, Rafael Izquierdo and his daughter would remain in the United States for several years and the foster parents - former baseball players' agent Joe Cubas and his wife, Maria - would get regular visits from the girl, according to a person familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because of confidentiality rules.
Beyond that, Izquierdo would have no parental restrictions and could eventually return to Cuba, the person said. The agreement is subject to approval by Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Jeri Cohen, who has scheduled a hearing Tuesday.
Cohen ruled in September that Izquierdo is a fit parent and did not abandon his daughter when her mother brought her to the United States in 2005. But the state Department of Children and Families sided with the foster family and fought to keep the girl in the United States.
The girl and her half-brother went into foster care in 2005 after their mother attempted suicide after she emigrated legally to the U.S. from Cuba.