Cuba Foils New Airline Hijacking, Blames U.S.
Cuba said on Friday it had foiled an attempt to hijack an airliner to the United States, the third in less than a month, and said U.S. leniency toward those who successfully commandeer planes and boats was to blame. The government said it had stopped the suspected hijacking of an airliner at the airport on the Isle of Youth about 75 miles (120 km) south of Havana when four armed men were arrested in the parking lot. The men were part of a group of eight who had planned to take over an airliner after it landed and passengers began to disembark, hold those still on the plane hostage, and demand to go to the United States, the government statement said. A rifle and knives were found in the car, along with weights that the government said were to be used to smash through a waiting room window. Authorities said they were searching for the four suspects not in custody. “The plan was to enter the waiting room just before he last flight from Havana arrived, wait until 6 to 10 people got off, and at that moment break the glass wall separating the room from the runway and board the plane by force,” the government said. Cuba has been angry over U.S. handling of hijackers, and particularity Washington’s policy of granting residency to Cubans who reach U.S. shores. It has also complained about what it sees as other violations of immigration agreements between the two countries. Full Story