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New York Times article on Brent

William Lee Brent

Brent is a former Black Panther who hijacked a plane and wound up in Havana. His book, "Long Time Gone : A Black Panther's True-Life Story of His Hijacking and Twenty-Five Years in Cuba" gives a good look at life in Cuba from a Panther perspective.

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From LatinoLink

Former Hijacker Still Clings to Socialist Dreams
By Larry Rohter
© 1996 New York Times News Service

HAVANA, April 8, 1996 -- More than a quarter of a century after he sought political asylum in Cuba, William Lee Brent still seems American to the core. He speaks a Spanish tinged with the Louisiana accent of his boyhood, prefers whisky to rum, and continues to focus his attention on many of the same causes he once espoused as a member of the Black Panther Party.

But Brent has cast his lot with the Cuban Revolution, and even if he wanted to, he could not return to the land of his birth. He arrived here in 1969 after hijacking an airliner bound for New York from San Francisco with 76 people on board, and after all these years he remains a fugitive from American justice.

Now, at the age of 66, Brent has written an autobiography, "Long Time Gone: A Black Panther's True-Life Story of His Hijacking and 25 Years in Cuba'' (Times Books, a subsidiary of Random House, $22.50). In it, he recalls growing
up poor in the South, the years he spent in San Quentin prison on an armed robbery conviction, his career as a political activist in Oakland, and the ups and downs of his life in Cuba -- but expresses no remorse for the act that first brought him here.

"I considered myself a foot soldier, out there with the troops, where I could make a contribution to the black liberation movement,'' Brent said during an interview here. "I was at war, as strange as that may sound to some people now, with an enemy, which was the United States government, and the skyjacking was a continuation of that struggle.''

For the rest of the article, see: http://www.latinolink.com/news/0408cuba.html


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