Hijacking of Aircraft and Vessels and Other Offenses
Agreement effected by exchange of notes between the Department of State and the Czechoslovak Embassy (representing Cuban interests) and between the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swiss Embassy (representing United States interests)
Signed at Washington and Havana, February 15, 1973;
Entered into force February 15, 1973.
The Secretary of State to the Czechoslovak Charge d'Affaires ad interim
Department of State Washington
FEBRUARY 15, 1973
I refer to the Memorandum of Understanding on the hijacking of aircraft and vessels and other offenses which has resulted from conversations which have taken place between the Embassy of Switzerland, representative of the interests of the United States of America in Cuba, and representatives of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, the text; of which is as follows:
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON HIJACKING OF AIRCRAIFT AND VESSELS AND OTHER OFFENSES
The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Cuba, on the bases of equality and strict reciprocity, agree:
FIRST: ―Any person who hereafter seizes, removes, appropriates or diverts from its normal route or activities an aircraft or vessel registered under the laws of one of the parties and brings it to the territory of the other party shall be considered to have committed an offense and therefore shall either be returned to the party of registry of the aircraft or vessel to be tried by the courts of that party in conformity with its laws or be brought before the courts of the party whose territory he reached for trial in conformity with its laws for the offense punishable by the most severe penalty according to the circumstances and the seriousness of the acts to which this Article refers. In addition, the party whose territory is reached by the aircraft or vessel shall take all necessary steps to facilitate without delay the continuation of the journey of the passengers and crew innocent of the hijacking of the aircraft or vessel in question, with their belongings, as well as the journey of the aircraft or vessel itself with all goods carried with it, including any funds obtained by extortion or other illegal means, or the return of the foregoing to the territory of the first party; likewise, it shall take all steps to protect the physical integrity of the aircraft or vessel and all goods, carried with it, including any funds obtained by extortion or other illegal means, and the physical integrity of the passengers and crew innocent of the hijacking, and their belongings, while they are in its territory as a consequence of or in connection with the acts to which this Article refers.
In the event that the offenses referred to above are not punishable under the laws existing in the country to which the persons committing them arrived, the party in question shall be obligated, except in the case of minor offenses, to return the persons who have committed such acts, in accordance with the applicable legal procedures, to the territory of the other party to be tried by its courts in conformity with its laws.
SECOND: Each party shall try with a view to severe punishment in accordance with its laws any person who, within its territory, hereafter conspires to promote, or promotes, or prepares, or directs, or forms part of an expedition which from its territory or any other place carries out acts of violence or depredation against aircraft or vessels of any kind or registration coming from or going to that territory of the other party or who, within its territory, hereafter conspires to promote, or promotes, or prepares, or directs, or forms part of an expedition which from its territory or any other place carries out such acts or other similar unlawful acts in the territory of the other party.