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Castro attempted to halt hijack, witnesses testify

It was hot, sticky and stale inside the cramped Cubana airlines plane, parked on a runway at Havana’s José Martí International Airport. The 46 passengers prayed and sobbed as a hijacker toting two hand grenades threatened to blow them up unless the plane was refueled for a trip to the United States. Then an unmistakable voice came over the plane’s speakers. ”Think it over,” Cuban leader Fidel Castro said, addressing accused hijacker Adermis Wilson Gonzalez in a late-night talk through the plane’s radio that was heard throughout the aircraft. Castro ”told us to be calm, that he was going to provide the fuel,” said Eleusi Alvarez, a passenger who testified Wednesday in Wilson’s federal trial in Key West. “He said that no one should be hurt. That he wanted no one to be hurt and that [Wilson] was going to be getting his fuel.” Full Story

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