The next Elian Gonzalez is here

They’ve tried keeping this under the radar, but the Miami Herald apparently has caught wind of a secret child custody battle where the child’s guardians are in the U.S.–but the father lives in Cuba:

A 4-year-old girl living in Coral Gables is at the center of an international custody dispute between the United States and Cuba over who will raise her: her father who lives in Cuba and wants her back, or a family acquaintance who Florida child welfare administrators say is more fit.

Because of a secrecy order, the battle over the youngster has played out quietly in Miami-Dade County’s juvenile courthouse in Allapattah. But three sources with knowledge of the case say state child-welfare workers have asked Circuit Judge Jeri B. Cohen to grant long-term custody of the girl to an acquaintance of the girl’s family.

The girl, whose identity is being withheld by court and child-welfare administrators, was taken from her mother by the Florida Department of Children & Families about a year ago, sources said, after an investigation into charges that the mother’s severe mental illness made her an unfit parent.

The Castro government hates to lose even one young, impressionable mind to freedom. It makes them look bad. And looking good is far more important to the Castro brothers than, say, the future of a four-year-old girl. Or the lives of 11 million, for that matter.