Freeing of hijacker 'condones terrorism'
HAVANA — Cuba on April 19 warned that the release of Leonel Macias, who murdered a Cuban navy officer and hijacked a vessel to the United States last August, is equivalent to condoning terrorism.
Cuban Foreign Ministry spokesperson Miguel Alfonso told the press that the court decision to free Macias and grant him political asylum is part of old policies in which any crime committed to reach the US is valid.
Macias assassinated Cuban navy officer Roberto Aguilar in Mariel Bay on August 8 and hijacked a vessel, later picking up 24 passengers. Foreign Ministry official Rafael Dausa told Cuban Radio Rebelde that Cuba presented a video, and eyewitness statements concerning the murder and statements to the effect that Macias himself admitted shooting the Cuban navy officer. US courts, however, did not take this evidence into consideration.
Three witnesses belonging to the same navy squadron as Macias said the hijacker pulled out a gun and shot the only other armed member of the crew. Macias immediately pointed the gun at the three unarmed witnesses and ordered them to throw themselves overboard. Their statements were aired live on national TV in Cuba.
[From Radio Havana.]