WATCH: Elián González Reacts to Fidel Castro's Death in Interview

Among all of the words said about the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, those of Elián González rise to the top. 

READ: Cuban Revolutionary Fidel Castro Dies at 90

At five years old, González was in a controversial international custody battle between Cuba and the United States, which began when he was rescued off the coast of Florida on Thanksgiving Day 1999. He survived a shipwreck that killed his mother, her boyfriend and others. While his father wanted him to return back to Cuba, family members in Miami wanted to raise González in Florida.

Ultimately, when the court ruled that González would return to Cuba to live with his dad, he did not know he would gain two fathers. In 2015, González spoke publicly about his relationship with Castro and talked about how the former head of state would call him every year on his birthday, visit his school and featured him in major national events.

"Fidel began to be a father, initially they all start as fathers but what's different is to have a father become a friend, " González said in an interview on state-sanctioned television on Saturday. "And he was a father who, like with my father, I wanted to show him everything I achieved. I wanted him to be proud of me. That's how it was with Fidel. If I learned to do something, I wanted to show him. And there are many things that I didn't get to show him."

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Watch a clip of the interview above.