Cuba protests against granting asylum to the hijacker. Author: Taken from Minrex website
On February 27, 2023, Deputy Foreign Secretary Carlos Fernandez de Cossio summoned U.S. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Benjamin Ziff to the Foreign Office to formally convey Cuba’s vigorous asylum protest by Cuban citizen Ruben Martínez Machado, author of the October 21 Cuban civil hijacking 2022.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in four previous Notes Verbales, requested the return of the perpetrator of this act of air piracy and the aircraft belonging to Empresa Nacional de Servicios Aéreos SA (ENSA). These notes, as in this case, confirm that acts of air piracy are crimes typical of various international conventions ratified by Cuba and the United States; that this fact constitutes a violation of Cuban airspace, operational safety and aviation regulations in accordance with the provisions of the Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) and that impunity for such acts constitutes a negative and dangerous precedent.
Providing political asylum to those who hijacked an aircraft for the purpose of emigrating is also a violation of the provisions of the Joint Declaration on Migration, signed by both countries on January 12, 2017, which establishes the obligation of the parties to “strongly suppress illegal acts”. related to illegal migration, to promote effective bilateral cooperation in order to prevent and suppress trafficking in persons, as well as crimes related to migratory movements that threaten their national security, including hijackings of aircraft and ships.”
The Vice Minister recalled that the history of air piracy, encouraged and tolerated by the United States for the purpose of destabilization and political enmity against Cuba, has a well-known history and very negative and delicate consequences that should serve as a lesson to the United States. government to assume responsible behavior in the face of such grave events.
The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs deplores this decision by the United States government and its judiciary, which in practice turns them into accomplices and accomplices of piracy and hijacking, crimes that, if tolerated and defended, can provoke similar illegal acts with negative consequences for the national security of both countries.
Havana, February 27, 2023
Statement by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Source: Juventud Rebelde