MIAMI -- A pediatrician who is advising the federal government on the Elian Gonzalez case says the boy is being psychologically abused by his Miami relatives and should be removed from their home immediately.

"Elian Gonzalez is now in a state of imminent danger to his physical and emotional well-being in a home that I consider to be psychologically abusive," Dr. Irwin Redlener wrote to Attorney General Janet Reno and Doris Meissner, commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.The INS released the letter Monday.

"The child needs to be rescued," Redlener, professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, said today on NBC's "Today" show.

Redlener, who assembled the panel of mental-health experts that met last week with Elian's great-uncle Lazaro Gonzalez, said he was particularly disturbed by the videotape the relatives made of the boy that was released last week, which Redlener likened to a hostage video. He also said the family was making unfounded allegations against the boy's Cuban father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez.

The family reiterated its argument that government experts can't form any valid opinions since none of them have talked to Elian.

"I don't know how one can reach decisions and express them in language as strong as this without seeing the boy," Jose Garcia-Pedrosa, attorney for the Florida relatives, told "Good Morning America."

" 'Radical hysteria' is the way he describes this environment," Garcia-Pedrosa said. "He hasn't been there. He hasn't spoken with anybody who lives there."

Mental-health experts working with the Miami relatives have said the boy will suffer psychologically if he is sent back to communist-controlled Cuba with his father. The Miami relatives have cared for him since November, when he was found clinging to an inner tube off the Florida coast. His mother and 10 other people fleeing Cuba drowned when their boat sank.

The Justice Department has pushed for Elian's return to his father, who has been in the Washington area since April 6 hoping for a reunion.

As another vigil began Tuesday at the Little Havana home where the Elian is living, a dozen protesters practiced forming a human chain.

Bienvenido Comas, who has spent many days on the street, denied that he and others were preparing to charge the barricades. "No, we're dancing the ballerina," he said, and then pretended to dance.

Monday passed without any ruling from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

The Miami relatives are asking for the court to order an asylum hearing for the boy, while the government wants the court to lift a temporary order that bars Elian's removal from the United States and to order Lazaro Gonzalez to release the boy. Such a ruling could allow the government to take immediate action.

Late Monday, Miami Mayor Joe Carollo said he planned to fly to Washington today and meet with government officials about the custody dispute. He refused to elaborate.

Ramon Saul Sanchez, the leader of the exile community's Democracy Movement, said the family is still interested in meeting with Elian's father at a neutral site, without attorneys and government officials -- and without Elian.

"I believe the family would be willing to do that," he said early today, not ruling out an out-of-state site.

The INS last week revoked Lazaro Gonzalez's custody over the boy after the family defied an INS order to make Elian available for a trip to Washington.

In a sharply worded statement released Monday, the Miami relatives said the INS has no authority to order Gonzalez to turn over Elian.

"It is especially ironic for the INS to insist it has jurisdiction to dictate the actions of Lazaro Gonzalez when the INS has severed its relationship with Lazaro concerning the status of Elian," the family said.

The exchange came on the 39th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs fiasco in which CIA-trained exiles failed in their attempt to invade Cuba. Some bitterly recalled the disastrous attempt on April 17, 1961, blaming President Kennedy for failing to adequately back them up. Two hundred rebels were killed, and nearly 1,200 captured by Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

The criticism was extended to the Clinton administration for its push to return Elian to his father.

"That was the first betrayal. John F. Kennedy betrayed the Cubans, now Clinton is betraying us. This is the second Bay of Pigs of the Cuban people," said Enrique Leon, 65, a retired physician from Bethesda, Md.

Cuban exiles had looked toward the anniversary with apprehension, fearing a Justice Department attempt to take the boy from Lazaro Gonzalez.