Flying For Freedom, Or Personal Politics...

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Brothers To The Rescue Plans A Return To Cuba...

It was eight years ago Tuesday that two unarmed civilian Cessna 337 Skymasters were shot down by Cuban MiGs, killing four Miami-based pilots as they searched for rafters fleeing from the island. To commemorate that anniversary, Jose Basulto, founder of Brothers to the Rescue, is planning to fly into international airspace near Havana and drop one million leaflets that he hopes will drift over Cuba. Flying conditions this week have not been favorable, Basulto told AVweb yesterday, but he is ready to go when the winds are right. He doesn't know exactly when that will be, and if he did know, he wouldn't tell in advance of the flight, he said. The leaflets contain articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and messages addressed to the Cuban people and the United States that demand the indictment of President Fidel Castro for murder. Basulto has conducted experiments to calculate the descent of the leaflets, in hopes that he can determine the right direction and altitude to drop them so they will drift over the mainland while he remains safely offshore. The four pilots killed on February 24, 1996, were Mario de la Peņa, Pablo Morales, Carlos Costa and Armando Alejandre Jr. They were flying in two Skymasters.