Havana Cuba Business Travel Culture and Politics

Havana Cuba News

Cuba Politics News

Posted May 08, 2007 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

Email this article | Print this article | Search Havana Journal        

By ANITA SNOW | Associated Press

Convalescing Cuban leader Fidel Castro blamed an airliner hijack attempt on the United States, saying in a statement published Tuesday that two soldiers who seized a plane and killed an officer thought they would escape punishment if they reached U.S. soil.

Castro linked the failed attempt to the recent release of anti-communist militant Luis Posada Carriles from U.S. custody on bond. Cuba’s Foreign Ministry distributed Castro’s statement to international reporters by e-mail late Monday and it was published Tuesday in the Communist Party daily Granma.

The hijacking, 80-year-old leader declared, was “a consequence of freeing the monster of terror.”

“The impunity and the material benefits that have been rewarded for nearly half a century for all violent action against Cuba stimulate such acts,” he wrote.

Castro wrote that the two soldiers involved in the Thursday morning hijacking attempt had not yet been tried because both were wounded, one of them shot.

Although Cuba now rarely employs the death penalty, the non-governmental Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation on Monday urged governments around the world to petition Havana not to send the would-be hijackers to a firing squad.

Castro wrote that the Cuban people were “profoundly indignant over what has happened” and added, “A great deal of serenity and cold blood are needed to face these issues.”

The two soldiers were among three who earlier escaped from their military post, killing a sentry and wounding a second before fleeing with automatic rifles.

One was captured before the hijacking attempt. But officials said the other two commandeered a city bus with eight people aboard, forced the driver to travel to the Havana airport and marched the group onto an empty plane and demanded to be flown to the United States.

While on the craft, an army lieutenant colonel who had been on the bus was shot four times and killed when he tried to stop the defecting soldiers, Castro’s statement said.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on May 08, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Open letter to President Castro:

    Each letter to the world you write appears to be a more desperate attempt to prove your current value to your people, your political associates, your Latin American comrades, the US Administration and the world in general but I for one am not so interested, impressed or influenced by this rhetoric. 

    You may not realize that your political worth has declined substantially in the past few months and exponentially since your lack of appearance on May 1 but you are forcing me to recognize your uselessness.

    Rob Sequin


    Havana Journal

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on May 08, 2007 by Curt

    Castro told the truth! That filthy gusano terrorist Posada-Carriles was just exonorated while 5 Cuban nationals are serving life senetences in U.S jails for simply protecting their country from terrorists like that f—-king scumbag like Posada-Carriles.  FREE THE CUBAN 5!!!!!!!

  3. Follow up post #3 added on May 08, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I will not stand for off topic comments on this post.

    This is not about Posada or the Cuban Five.

    This is about Fidel’s rantings as a desperate old man who is losing his power.

    I agree Posada should stay in jail and the Cuban Five’s innocence can be debated.

    Please keep comments relevant to the hijacking attempt. Off topic posts will be deleted.

    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on May 09, 2007 by MiamiCuban

    One does have to wonder what was in the head of these two young men.  Surely they knew that hijacking a plane is an international crime, so it seems logical to me that they thought they would be pardoned for this act once they got to the U.S.  So the question that begs to be asked is…..who would put an idea like this in their head?  What made them think they had the green light to do this?  Curt’s comment is relevant in that lately we seem to be turning into heroes people like Posada Carriles who bombed an airplane, and already in Miami the exile community is calling for the release of the two soldiers in last week’s incident, while the Cuban Five were working to PREVENT terrorism from happening.  If that isn’t a warped picture, I don’t know what is.  I guess the message here is that it’s okay to be a terrorist, as long as you’re on the right side.  ANY form of terrorism, no matter who it is directed at, is WRONG.  Period.  And as Bush himself said, anyone who aids and protects a terrorist is culpable himself.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on May 09, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Sorry but not much of a conspiracy theorist here, again.

    How come soldiers have not been trying to hijack planes for 48 years in Cuba. It happens one time (that I know of) and all of the sudden the US is too blame?

    MiamiCuban, you have made many reasonable posts here, don’t start sympathizing with Fidel as he self destructs even if you are anti-Bush.

    Don’t become pro-Castro. TWO different things.

    The next comment that mentions Posada or the Cuban Five will be deleted.

    You are welcome to start your own article with its own comments if you like. Scroll up to the top right part of the page for Write Here and post your own article and say whatever you like and invite people to leave comments.

    I do not edit original posts or comments so long as they do not advocate violence.

    Back to the hijacking attempt in Cuba…

    Cuba consulting services

  6. Follow up post #6 added on May 09, 2007 by MapleRum

    I think it is high time that we remind everyone that the people of Cuba do not have open access to the world media. They are force fed a spin. Now when you grow up within that system your judgement is not what it would be if you grew up with access to global information. The state run media is twisted and believe me these guys can twist anything. If these young soldiers were able to get a few dollars to get on the tourist oriented internet, they still would not be able to get Havana Journal because of blocking.

    So we more than likely have three young men from Camaguey province that more never in their life made it to the provincial capitol Camaguey let alone been to Havana. These three men were young and stupid, yes, however they are a product of a system that none of us in the free world can properly understand.

    For almost fifty years, the people have however had a leader that was obsessed with delivering hours of babble on state run television. In a weird way, information from Fidel made up for the lack of information from the free world. Fidel loves to hear himself speak and WAS the master of deflection. He has thrived so long on adulation. The Fidel we all knew is no longer, something is not adding up. He always knew how to twist things to fit his agenda, but he knew the limits.

    I am beginning to think that Fidel is under control. It all really does not add up, the Fidel we all knew would be ranting at length from his death bed.

  7. Follow up post #7 added on May 09, 2007 by MiamiCuban

    Publisher, it’s not about sympathizing with anyone in particular.  The facts are what they are.  And these types of incidents (the hijacking) do not exist in a bubble, nor do they normally happen on a whim.  There was a timeline of events that preceded the hijacking, obviously with planning and conversations, even though it was botched up in the end.  As I said earlier, I’d want to know who else was involved and to what extent.  There’s definitely more to this story, but we may never know the details.

  8. Follow up post #8 added on May 09, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    Your comments are always full of insight that I and the readers of the Havana Journal appreciate the education. I agree that something is not right. What that “something” is will probably be clear in hindsight at some point in the future but for now we will keep thinking here.


    I appreciate your comments that many issues are probably tied together but I don’t see how Posada and the Cuban Five are involved in anyway with this hijacking. It’s just Fidel’s propaganda and not very good propaganda either. I would imagine that even his supporters are shaking their heads on this one and see it as a desperate attempt to be relevant during his last days.

    Again, I am not a big conspiracy theorist so I am not too concerned with “who else is involved”.

    If this letter from President Castro is any indication of more letters to come, it signifies a sad end to the Castro era.

    A happy ending would be for Cuba to at least release its political prisoners and give more freedoms to the people.

    Cuba consulting services

  9. Follow up post #9 added on May 09, 2007 by MiamiCuban

    Publisher, I never said that Posada or the Cuban Five were involved in the hijacking, only that the incident should not be judged on its own as a freak, isolated incident.  These kids obviously expected to be greeted as heroes once they arrived in Miami; they simply wouldn’t have risked their lives only to end up in jail.  The connection to Posada is only in the sense that in Miami, terrorism against Cuba is applauded and the aggressors are hailed as heroes…as is the case with Posada.  And it is PRECISELY this type of thinking that will encourage hijackings and the like.  Posada has been on the CIA payroll for years, he has bombed tourist hotels in Havana and committed many other crimes and instead of going to jail, he’s a patriotic symbol for exiles and a ROLE MODEL for those like the hijackers.  I would say that to this extent, it is all very much connected.

  10. Follow up post #10 added on May 09, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Point taken.

    Cuba consulting services

  11. Follow up post #11 added on May 09, 2007 by Pete Chavez

    All that’s left now is for Castro to blame the U.S. if a Hurricane hits Cuba.  I am also sure you could find Castro sycophants on this site to add supporting reasons and Cuban exile involvment to boot!

    Why does every one react as if this is a new sick twist to the dying pains of the regime?  Just get a transcript of anyone of his meglamanic four hour speeches of the last 40 years and you’ll will see that he’s been making outrageous accusations and blaming every body else except himself for everything that happens in Cuba that clearly demonstrates the failure of this system and his failure as it’s leader.

  12. Follow up post #12 added on May 09, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    You are right.

    Fidel is President for 48 years but he won’t admit that Cuba’s low standard of living is not his fault.

    Without Russia and now without Venezuela giving billions of dollars a year in “credits” Cuba would be even worse off but again “not my fault”?

    So, don’t be shocked if people like me and other average Americans who may not know much about Fidel start to wonder about the sanity and/or influence of Fidel.

    The Cuban people are used to his rants but this is news to MANY Americans.

    Cuba consulting services

  13. Follow up post #13 added on May 09, 2007 by Pete Chavez

    In pre-1959 Cuba, the United States couldn’t fill it’s allowable quotas for Cuban immigration to the U.S., it’s well known.  Cuba had a truck load of problems but no one was really applying for visas to emigrate much less throwing themselves into the sea with women and children on innertubes or highjacking planes for the most non cabantant reason (to get out) and the only prostitutes were the disenfranchised poor.  To come to Cuba today and find teachers, medics, architects hooking on the Malecon along with the uninterupted disenfranchised poor really leaves no one else to blame for the failure of the regime.  If he would truly been interested in the success of his people he would implemented reforms a decade and a half ago.  Instead it is more important for him to stay in this continous game of chicken with the U.S.  It’s been rumoured for years that all the key figures have well crafted escape plans for the impending downfall of the regime.  If this rumor is a fact, does anyone know what that says about what they think of themselves in their own moment of truth when no one’s looking?  Well I do, they know they’ve craped all over the country and it’s people and there will eventually be all hell to pay later, that’s what it says!

Would you like to add more information?

Only members can add more information. Please register or log in

  • Advertise at Havana Journal Inc
We recommend this AirBnB Food and Drink Experience... Cuban flavors: Food, Rum and Cigars
Images of Cuba
White Cuban car
Follow Havana Journal
SUBSCRIBE to our Cuba Watch newsletter
LIKE us on Facebook

FOLLOW us on Twitter

CONNECT with us on Linked In

Section Archive
Havana Journal, Inc. BBB Business Review

Member of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy