Luis Pena Soltren, returned as a repentant fugitive from Cuba for his role in a 1968 hijacking and faced a stern judge that handed the 67-year-old man a 15 year sentence without the possibility of parole.
The Puerto Rican native viewed his role in the hijacking of a Pan American flight originating from New York enroute to Puerto Rico, as ill conceived but motivated by his love of his critically ill father – that he so desperately wanted to see in Cuba. Whereas New York Judge Alvin Hellerstein called his actions quasi-political and labeled Soltren as having a “lead position”.
Soltren has lived in Cuba for the last four decades but always lived with a desire to set the record straight. He returned to face prosecution voluntarily. The sentence was viewed as “extraordinarily harsh” by Soltren’s family and attorney, in light of his two co-conspirators serving four and seven years in prison.