27 of March, 1984. William Potts, high jacked a flight of Piedmont Airlines from New York in route to Miami acting as “Lt Spartacus of the Black Liberation Army”.
Potts (Spartacus), this time under the name of William Freeman, bought the $129.00, one way ticket from New York to Miami, using $120.00 that his aunt Kay Brown from Patterson, New Jersey gave him to pay her electrical bill, just the day before he committed his crime. (These commies don’t care for anybody, not even their own aunts).
During the flight and when close to landing at Miami International Airport, Spartacus handed a note to one of the flight attendants. When she noticed the word “explosives” in the note, she handed it to the Pilot, according to the FBI’s sworn affidavit. After that, Spartacus locked himself in the bathroom.
(The FBI’s note does not explain why he did that or if he was afraid or had diarrhea)
The note, which was kept by Cuban authorities, said something like this, according to the Pilot’s recall:
“Captain, I am Lt. Spartacus from the Black Liberation Army. I don’t want to land in Miami. I want to go to José Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba”
“There are two explosive devices on board that me and two other comrades have planted “
“We want to liberate our brothers and sister in South Africa and to end the interference from the US Gov. against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua”
“We also want $5 Million dollars and we want you to know that the passengers will be shot if you land in Miami”
After the Piedmont flight landed at Havana’s International Airport, Cuban authorities boarded the plane and arrested Spartacus. He was not welcomed as a patriot or hero as he was expecting…typical of the commies.
Now our “fighter” Spartacus was accused of air piracy and sentenced to 13 years in prison…in a Cuban prison. Oh boy! Spartacus was now learning what a communist jail sentence means.
After he finished the total amount of years of his sentence, Spartacus was free in Cuba but he did not return to the US…he married and had two daughters and was working in agriculture earning $10.00 USD a month.
Apparently, Spartacus now 56 years old, realized that his stupidity gave him a lesson in Marxist reality.
He wanted to come back to the “Imperialism” to end his last years of life eating well, not working the land anymore, getting food stamps and subsidies to obtain Obamacare
What it is not clear is why he criticized the US Judicial System when he faced the Federal Judge last Thursday. Could it be that he has not changed his political ideas and he is still a comrade?
Time will tell as his future will be decided very soon. Meanwhile he is in jail with no bond, waiting for justice to be done.
This case compares with another plane highjack which occurred years before.
Anthony (Tony) Bryant high jacked National Airlines flight 97 from New York to Miami, in March 5, 1969.
Tony Bryant spent most of 1960 in San Quentin State Prison, in California. 30 years old Bryant claimed he high jacked flight 97 under orders from his higher ups in the Black Panther Party. His mission was to arrange for the purchase of bazookas to aid his organization’s struggle against “oppression”.
He used a revolver to commandeer the Boing 727 and en route to Havana he robbed several passengers.
One of his victims, who Bryant forced to turn over a briefcase with $1,700 in cash, was a Cuban intelligence officer. Surprise!
Just like Spartacus, Bryant viewed Cuba as the “promised land”. Just as Spartacus, Bryant was arrested and given 12 years in a Cuban Communist prison. The brutalities that he suffered in these jails are the bulk of his book “Highjack” written in 1984. (Curiously, the same year Spartacus high jacked his plane. It shows you that these characters do not read).
Bryant was freed and allowed to return to US in 1980 along with several American hijackers who regretted their Cuban adventures.
Upon his arrival to Miami, he declared that “the US was the greatest Country in the World”
Like Spartacus, he was immediately arrested but his bail was soon posted by Anthony (Tony) Cuesta, head of the anti- Castro guerrilla group” Commandos L”. (Cuesta was blinded in a raid to Cuba and was in prison with Tony Bryant. They became “The Black and White Brothers” for the Cubans in Miami.)
He pleaded guilty to air piracy and was sentenced to 5 years’ probation. He became a very outspoken anti-communist and a very prominent anti-Castro militant until his death at the age of 60 in 1999.
I had the opportunity to meet Tony Bryant. He was funny and always had a smile in his face. His body was full of scares product of the savage attacks with bayonets that he suffered in the Cuban Prisons.
He told me that believing in the Black Panther group was the most stupid thing he made in his life.
He found the real truth of Communism in the Communist Cuban jails. I think Tony was a great person and a great fighter, lost in the fog of the political confusion that exists in the African American community.
The similarities between Spartacus and Tony Bryant are many. The biggest difference is that Tony Bryant learned the lesson.
Would that be the same ending for Spartacus?