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Posted December 20, 2003 by publisher in Cuban Culture

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MIAMI, Dec. 15 (UPI)—A hijack conviction of six Cubans in Key West, Fla., and a guilty verdict in another Cuban air piracy case, may not signal a change in U.S. policy toward Cuba.

Damian Fernandez, director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University in Miami, said Monday the two nations are cooperating on immigration issues despite all the tough talk.

“It shows a level of commonality of interest in securing orderly migration and abiding by treaties and agreements. It’s an important baseline,” Fernandez said.

A 12-member federal jury reached the verdict last week after six hours of deliberations over two days after a nine-day trial. All six were found guilty of air piracy.

The minimum punishment is 20 years in prison and the maximum is life.

The hijackers’ attorneys expressed confidence that their appeals would be successful.

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