Williams Potts, Jr. (pictured), who hijacked a commercial plane and forced it to travel to Cuba back in 1984, was handed a 20-year prison sentence by a Florida federal judge last week, according to Yahoo News.

The now-57-year-old, who has spent the last 30 years in Cuba, returned to these shores last November. Potts spent 13 years in a Cuban prison for his crime, calling it one of the “worst hell holes on the planet,” according to his lawyer, Robert Berube.  “There were no bathroom facilities. There were plastic sheets on the beds because urine drips down through the ceilings.”

Now claiming to be a changed man, Potts wants the U.S. government to take in to consideration the prison time he served while in Cuba for his air piracy and kidnapping charges. He also contends that he has grown in positive ways as a human being and is, today, a better man for it.

Upon his release from the Cuban “hell hole,” Potts was granted residency to live on the communist island; he eventually married and had two daughters who now live in Atlanta.  Potts tells the news outlet, “Everything changes when you become a parent.  You realize everything you’ve done before, none of that stuff matters.”

At the time of the hijacking, Potts handed a Piedmont Airlines flight attendant a note indicating he had planted explosives on the aircraft that had just left its New York City hub.  Potts is reportedly one of just a handful of former nationalist Panther movement members who fled to Cuba.  Many of the remaining members of the original black revolutionary socialist organization that was formed in the ’60s, who had been reportedly living in Cuba over the years, have either passed away or been returned to the United States to face criminal charges.

Meanwhile, Potts will be eligible for parole in 2021 under a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Florida, K. Michael Moore.


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6 thoughts on “Ex-Black Panther Receives 20 Years For Hijacking Plane To Cuba 30 Years Ago

  1. william on said:

    “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it”

    -Abraham Lincoln (US President)

    Weather Underground college radicals who bombed US government buildings from 1969-1977. The Weather Undergrounds politics, ideology and philosophy were the same as that of William Pott’s and the Black Liberation Army in the 1970s. The difference is that the Weather Underground members did not spend more than five years in prison for their violent “terrorist” actions agains the US Government. It may be they were politicized college students. It may be they were White and privileged. It may be a convention of things. The only difference is that William Potts did not commit any violent crimes against the US State but is being judged by commentators without the proper context of the 1960s and 70s.

  2. Dam his ass should have turned himself in back then he’d have 10 yrs of being a free man
    Bottom line don’t blame the system, just don’t do the crime. Civilized societies have laws when you break those laws you must be removed from society, the youths murdered in Chicago this past week, 10/20 yrs from now a person is found responsible for one or more, should they go free?

  3. Honestly on said:

    When are you cave n!@@ers going to start serving time for your crimes against humanity. You mayonnaise monkeys should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  4. Linda on said:

    There is obviously no statute of limitations when in comes to imprisoning men of color in Amerykah!!!!–He just left one hell hole to be sent to another!!!!

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