William Potts, Black Panther Who Hijacked a Plane to Cuba, Is Finally Coming Back to America
Almost 30 years ago, William Potts, a Black Panther with his sights set on overthrowing the American government, boarded a Miami-bound plane out of Newark Airport with a pistol and plan. He hijacked the plane and demanded that the pilots fly to Havana. He thought he'd be greeted as a hero by the Castro regime and trained in revolutionary military tactics. Instead, Cuba put him on trial and imprisoned him for at least 13 years.
Early tomorrow morning, he'll finally land in that plane's original destination -- Miami. He's voluntarily returning to America after years of exile.
Cuban officials offered Potts a chance to return to America before his initial trial, but Potts decided to stay on the island to prove his revolutionary bonafides.
After Potts was released from prison he continued to live in Cuba and had two daughters. However, Cuba wasn't particularly harboring him. Ever since 2009, Potts had written American officials asking for a pardon or a plan to come home. His efforts were met with silence. Now, according to the Associated Press, he's received a one-use passport from the United States Interests Section and will arrive in Miami tomorrow.
Potts' daughters were allowed to leave Cuba last year and are now living in Georgia with family. Potts, however, could very well still face charges in America. He hopes that his time served in a Cuban prison could mitigate any further punishment.
"I am ready to discuss it and debate the issue in a court of law if necessary," he told CNN. "Because I am sure that any American can understand that 15 years in prison in a communist country is 15 years. It's not a Club Med situation."
Potts claims he has no interest anymore in overthrowing the American government and just wants to be a father.
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