Cube and the United States have signed a five-year anti-hijacking pact. The agreement means anyone?
GV State Department building
SV INT. ZOOM TO Rogers speaking with overlaid shots of him & Czechoslovak representative signing pact
IN:"I am very...."
This film includes the following excerpt from Mr. Rogers' announcement:
"I am very pleased to announce that the United States and Cuba have reached agreement on hijacking. At 11.30 today I exchanged diplomatic notes containing the text of this agreement with Mr. Zantovski, the Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy of Czechoslovakia, which represents Cuban interests in this country. This exchange, and a similar exchange of notes which took place simultaneously in Havana, between the Ambassador of Switzerland, representing the United States, and the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, constitutes the agreement of both governments to the terms of a memorandum of understanding on hijacking of aircraft and vessels and other offenses. Under the terms of this agreement, each government undertakes to prosecute hijackers, in its own courts, or to return them to the other country for prose???tion. Thus there will be no safe haven for hijackers in Cuba, or the United States. This agreement applies to air piracy, to similar serious offenses involving vessels, and other serious crimes. As all of these crimes are already punishable under United States law, no change in the United States law will be necessary to carry out this agreement. "I also want to emphasise that nothing in this agreement is consistent with the traditional and strongly-felt American view of the right to emigrate freely, nor does it constitute a change in our overall policy towards Cuba. We believe that this agreement represents a significant step forward in our world-wide efforts to put an end to the problem of hijacking."
State Department exterior; interior shots of Mr. William Rogers making announcement partly overlaid with shot of signing ceremony.
Initials SGM/1835 SGM/1810
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Cube and the United States have signed a five-year anti-hijacking pact. The agreement means anyone forcing a pilot to take an aircraft to either country faces heavy penalties -- though each country can still use discretion in admitting political refugees.
The agreement was signed on Thursday, 15 February, and was announced at a news conference given by the US signatory, Secretary of State William Rogers. He stressed that the pact -- the first exchange since the two states broke off relations in 1961 -- was not an indication of a change in US attitude towards Cuba; it was not a step towards diplomatic exchanges.
The agreement was signed on behalf of Cuba by the Czechoslovakian Charge d'Affaires, Mr. Jaroslav Zantovaski. It applies both to air and sea hijacking There have been 87 US planes diverted to Cuba in the past 12 years, while Cubans have often commandeered small boats and sailed them to the US. Under the new pact the "host" country must either return the uninvited "guests" to the country where the hijacking occurred, or else prosecute them fully. The hijacked aircraft or boats, passengers, and any ransom obtained by the hijackers, must also be returned immediately.
Mr. Rogers announced that the US hoped to reach similar agreements with other nations, particularly Algeria, another favourite destination for hijackers.
SYNOPSIS: In Washington, Secretary of State William Rogers has announced a pact with Cuba against hi-jackers.