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Cuba condemns U.S. political asylum for plane hijacker

Havana, Feb 28 (Prensa Latina) Cuba´s Foreign Ministry (MINREX) on Tuesday strongly condemned granted political asylum in the United States to Cuban citizen Ruben Martinez after hijacking an aircraft in October 2022.

In a statement, MINREX said that Cuba´s Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez on Monday called U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Benjamin Ziff to formally convey Cuba´s demand.

Previously, MINREX requested in four verbal notes Ruben Martinez´s return, considered as an act of piracy, as well as the return of the aircraft owned by Empresa Nacional de Servicios Aéreos S.A. (ENSA).

In the notes and in the meeting held on Tuesday, “it was reiterated that acts of air piracy constitute crimes covered by several international conventions ratified by Cuba and the United States”.

It was also pointed out this act is a violation of Cuban airspace, operational safety and aeronautical regulations, in accordance with provisions of Annexes of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), as well as “impunity for actions of this nature constitute a negative and dangerous precedent”.

MINREX also stressed that granting political asylum to someone who hijacked an aircraft for emigration purpose is a violation of provisions set in the Joint Declaration on Migratory Matters, signed by both countries on January 12, 2017.

Cuban deputy foreign minister recalled the history of serious consequences of air piracy, encouraged and orchestrated by the U.S. government to destabilize and create political hostility against Cuba.


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