Longform

Donato's Closet

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Comparing his wife to Marisleysis Gonzalez, Elian's cousin, Donato has this to say: "There's no comparing Tanya to Marisleysis -- Tanya's a good ten notches above that. She's got dark hair, and she's got that European look.... There is no need to go elsewhere."

Today Dalyrymple works cleaning houses and trying to pay his bills. But his life has changed. A man who admits he's never voted, he says he will work on Cuban-exile issues for the rest of his life. He considers politics inherently dirty but hasn't ruled out running for office. Formerly a missionary, he says he's also planning on giving sermons at churches. He denounces both President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno as tyrants and calls Cuba a "little, open sewer."

Hundreds of people, he says, have come to him to call him "the last American hero."

"I've been standing up against communism. Standing up for America, the land of the free, the home of the brave," he says.

And if Elian is returned to Cuba, Dalrymple will get a visa and go to the communist country to visit the second boy in his life to make the news and the only one he says he ever really cared about.

"I should be a part of the boy's life, only as one of the saviors, if nothing else," Dalrymple says. "I fell in love with this little boy. Putting the politics aside, I put it in my heart that I was going to see him. He was a miracle child for me."

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