Las Vegas Sun
November 20, 2002

Cuban Pleads Guilty in Hijacking

                ASSOCIATED PRESS

                NEW ORLEANS- A Cuban man pleaded guilty
                Wednesday to federal air piracy and kidnapping
                charges in the 1980 hijacking of a Delta Air Lines flight
                to Havana.

                Miguel Aguiar Rodriguez, 55, faces a possible life
                sentence at sentencing in March. He was arrested in
                August after showing up for an appointment with the
                Immigration and Naturalization Service in Miami using
                an alias.

                Aguiar and his brother, Roberto, boarded the flight
                bound for Atlanta and threatened to set fire to bottles
                containing a flammable liquid, authorities said. The
                pilot flew to Havana, the hijackers were removed from
                the plane and the flight, with 81 passengers, continued
                to Atlanta after about two hours.

                Cuba sentenced Aguiar to four years in prison.

                U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said he slipped back into the
                United States two years ago and had lived his
                daughter in Miami. He was applying for permanent
                residency when he was arrested.

                Aguiar first arrived in the United States at Key West,
                during the 1980 Mariel boatlift. Letten said Aguiar's
                brother died last month.