Alan Diaz, the photographer who shot the iconic photo capturing the moment Elian Gonzalez was kidnapped at gunpoint by immigration agents from his Miami home under orders of the Clinton administration, died at the age of 71.
The photograph perfectly captured the injustice of President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno. They were more concerned with appeasing a murderous and corrupt dictator in Cuba than allowing a little boy to live in freedom with his family.
It was a dark day of betrayal for Miami’s Cuban Exile community that will never be forgotten and this photograph will never allow us to forget.
Alan Diaz, AP photographer behind Elian image, dies at 71
Retired Associated Press photojournalist Alan Diaz , whose photo of a terrified 6-year-old Cuban boy named Elian Gonzalez earned him the Pulitzer Prize, has died. He was 71.
Diaz’s daughter, Aillette Rodriguez-Diaz, confirmed that he died Tuesday. The cause of death wasn’t immediately known.
“He was the king of the family,” Rodriguez-Diaz said. “He cared about all of his friends and colleagues. His life was photography and my mother.”
Diaz’s wife, Martha, died nearly two years ago.
Diaz’s iconic image shows an armed U.S. immigration agent confronting the boy in the Little Havana home where he lived with relatives after being found floating off the Florida coast.
“Alan Diaz captured, in his iconic photographs, some of the most important moments of our generation – the bitter, violent struggle over the fate of a small Cuban boy named Elian Gonzalez, the magnified eye of a Florida election official trying to make sense of hanging chads and disputed ballots in the 2000 presidential election,” AP executive editor Sally Buzbee said.
“He was gravelly-voiced and kindhearted, generous with his expertise. And like all great photographers, he was patient. He was able to wait for the moment.”
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