It’s been an entire 16 years since Cuban native Elian Gonzalez was caught in the middle of a war between Cuba and America, and for the first time in an American interview– Elian says he is ready to come back to the U.S.! Back in 1999, Elian was on a boat with his mother and a bunch of other Cuban refuges trying to make their way into America by floating on to the Florida coast. Unfortunately, their boat capsized and everyone died except for Elian. There was a rift when he was rescued because he was technically already in America. He stayed with his uncle for awhile until the Cuban government sent their troops to take Elian back.

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In an exclusive interview with ABC News, the now 21-year-old Elian catches the world up on his life and explains what he’s been up to. He’s currently engaged to his high school sweetheart named Ilianet Escano, who is currently in school to get her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Biology.

Elian also reflects back on his mother’s life and when his grandmother gave him a sleeping pill before they set sail to the U.S.

“I believe that if today she is not here with me it is because she fought until the very last minute for me to survive,” he said. “After giving life to me, I believe she was the one who saved me. She was the one who gave life back to me at a time of danger,” he said. Check out the full interview below!

Source: ABCNews