TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Election officials in Cuba said all 470 candidates for the National Assembly have been elected. This includes Elian Gonzalez Brotons, a Cuban kid that arrived to South Florida in 1999 and was the center of an international custody battle between his father in Cuba and his family in Miami, which caused a diplomatic crisis between Cuba and the United States.

“The preliminary results provided by the president of the CEN Alina Balseiro, validate the election of the 470 proposed candidates, as deputies to the highest body of State power with more than 50% of the valid votes cast by the voters,” said the National Electoral Council in a tweet on Monday.

The 470 proposed candidates for the 470 seats in the legislature had no rivals from the opposition. The candidates included current President Miguel Diaz-Canel, former Cuban President Raul Castro and the “little rafter” Elian Gonzalez Brotons.

FILE – In this Dec. 20, 2014 file photo, Elian Gonzalez, center, the young Cuban rafter who was at the center of a bitter custody battle in 2000 between relatives in Miami and his father in Cuba, is recognized with applause during the legislative session at the National Assembly in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Critics say that during the election, voters essentially endorsed a list of candidates previously vetted by Communist Party officials.

“I can help unite the American and Cuban people and not just the people,” Gonzalez Brotons, the candidate for the province of Matanzas, told CNN in an interview. “That our governments reach an understanding and eliminate all barriers between us.”

Gonzalez Brotons is an industrial engineer in Cuba. His position as congressman will be Gonzalez’s first political position since he returned to the island almost 23 years ago.

Elian Gonzalez’s arrival to Florida

On November 25, 1999, 6-year-old Elian was found by fishermen floating in a tire and rescued just 3 miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. His mother, Elizabeth Brotons, along with eleven other people died while trying to get by sea from Cuba to the United States.

Elian’s uncle, Lazaro Gonzalez, and other relatives welcomed the boy in Miami and tried to obtain his custody. On January 2000, the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announced that the child’s custody was the responsibility of his father, Juan Miguel, who resided in Cuba.

On April 22, 2000, after Elian’s relatives in Florida refused to hand over the boy to his father, US federal agents raided the home of the boy’s uncle in Miami and retrieved him. Elian was reunited with his father a few hours later that same day.

FILE – In this April 22, 2000 file photo, Elian Gonzalez is held in a closet by Donato Dalrymple, one of the two men who rescued the boy from the ocean, right, as government officials search the home of Lazaro Gonzalez for the young boy, in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

The Supreme Court of the United States rejected the request of Elian’s family in Miami to maintain custody of the child. On June 28, 2000, Elian and his father returned to Cuba, where they were received by a jubilant crowd.

Electoral process in Cuba

Half of the 470 candidates come from municipal assemblies elected in local elections last November. The other half are nominated by groups representing broad clusters of society, such as a women’s group and labor unions. All are vetted by electoral committees with ties to the Communist party.

The National Assembly is nominally the highest governing power in the Caribbean country. It passes laws and votes for the president and executive officers from among its members.

The new National Assembly is expected to meet on April 19, when it will vote on the executive leadership, and current President Miguel Diaz-Canel is expected to be re-elected.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.