Cuban Refugee Pilot Lands Soviet-Era Plane in Florida

A Cuban man fleeing from the communist Castro regime landed a small Soviet-era airplane in a Florida airport this weekend, the latest dramatic episode in a growing wave of Cubans trying to desperately flee from the inhumane conditions on the island.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Rachel Torres, the 29-year old Cuban pilot, identified by his family as Rubén Martínez, landed alone in the Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport at 11:30 a.m. on Friday. The aircraft, a Soviet-era Antonov An-2 biplane designed mainly for agricultural work by the Soviet Union in the late 1940s, belonged to the Castro regime’s National Air Services Company (ENSA), for whom Martínez worked as a pilot prior to his defection.   

“CBP will follow existing policies to determine the admissibility and immigration status of the Cuban citizen,” Torres said according to Univision.

The Castro regime reacted to the incident by publishing a statement through its media apparatus on Saturday in which it accused Martínez of having committed an act of piracy. According to the Castro regime, Martínez took off from ENSA’s airport located in the Sancti Spiritus municipality to carry out agricultural fumigation works but did not return.

“This fact represents a violation of Cuban airspace, operational safety and aeronautical regulations, in correspondence with the Annexes of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention),” the Castro regime’s statement read.

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