124. Letter from Secretary of Transportation Volpe to Secretary of State Rogers1 2

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We have noted with interest the Cuban announcement on 19 September of the adoption of a hijacking decree.

The substance of the decree has been carefully studied by the FAA Task Force on Deterrence of Air Piracy and by my staff. It is our opinion that the issuance of this decree should be viewed as a significant move on the part of the Government of Cuba toward the return to the United States of certain persons who have hijacked United States aircraft to Cuba.

We urge the Department of State to explore to the fullest extent possible the means by which Cuba’s announcement may be translated into actions resulting in the return of hijackers. We recognize the difficulties created by the modifying conditions contained in the Cuban announcement. However, we view with guarded optimism the fact of the announcement itself and believe this presents an opportunity to enter into discussions, through appropriate channels, regarding acceptable conditions for obtaining the return of aircraft hijackers.

We stand ready to assist you and your Department in any manner which you feel may be helpful to your efforts in this and in the several other areas in which you are working to prevent aircraft hijacking.


John Volpe
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, AV 12. No classification marking.
  2. Volpe urged Rogers to take advantage of the Cuban Hijacking Decree, which Volpe saw as a significant move and a possible means of obtaining the return to the United States of those who hijacked U.S. aircraft to Cuba.