Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A fugitive returns

Luis Armando Pena Soltren, a man who hijacked a plane to Cuba in 1968 apparently in the name of Puerto Rican independence, returned to the United States and was arrested at JFK airport in New York. He had been in Cuba since 1968 and according to this report in the London Times, decided he wanted to come back to the United States to see his family. If the Cuban government had a role in this besides allowing his departure, it isn’t clear. U.S. prosecutors said last month that they expected his return “shortly.” FBI press release here. An ABC News look at fugitives in Cuba here.

If Pena did indeed return voluntarily, it’s hard to see this as a sign that more fugitives will be coming. Cuba has a record of returning some fugitives and common criminals, but not people such as Pena who committed crimes in service of radical political causes.

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