In August of 1971, things got real hot. The FBI attacked RNA headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi. They came with armoured personnel carriers and machine guns. Razed the house. Me and two comrades decided to drive to Mississippi to rebuild the headquarters. We were on our way when we were pulled over outside of Albuquerque.
[Ed. Note: Hill’s lawyer, Jason Flores-Williams, comments on the night in question at the bottom of this page.]
We ditched the car and went to a friend’s house. He later got five years for aiding and abetting. I knew they’d track the car, so we left the house a couple of hours before the police arrived. We spent nearly three weeks in a hole in the desert. Hot during the day, freezing cold at night. We put sagebrush and a beat-up couch over us. Not much water, not much food. Were going to die or get found if we didn’t come up with a plan. So we decided to hijack a plane to Cuba. I walked down to a gas station near the airport to find out about flights and get some food. It was around Thanksgiving. There was a TWA flight to Chicago at 10:55pm. We decided to be on it.
They had just remodeled the Albuquerque airport, but you still had to walk out to the plane. That was key. Otherwise I don’t know how we was gonna get on the plane. At 9, we were still figuring out how to get on the tarmac. We came up with the idea of commandeering a tow truck. At about a quarter to 11, we busted through the gate, got out, and started walking toward the plane. I got on the ground with an M1 to provide cover, and told Ralph and Michael [Hill’s comrades], "If you hear shooting, keep walking." I stayed down in position until they were inside. Then I joined them. We could already see police lights outside as we sent the passengers to the back of the plane. I went into the cockpit and said, "This plane is being hijacked. Tell the tower that we’re going." I put the mic on speaker, showed them my guns, and said, "If the cop cars don’t move out, in 10 seconds I’m going to take measures." The cop cars disappeared and the plane took off. I told them we were going to Cuba. After 30 minutes in the air, the pilot said there wasn’t enough fuel. I told them to have a fuel truck prepared in Tampa, where we’d let the passengers off. That’s what happened. The flight was cool, no problems. The stewardesses and pilots came with us. It was really smooth. Thank God it was. I was really happy about that. We weren’t trying to hurt anyone. It wasn’t about pistol-whipping anyone to show them we were bad. That wasn’t the thing.
We landed in Havana early in the morning. When the plane stopped, a guy in an olive-green uniform came up the ramp. He asked for our weapons, in English. We handed over a 45mm, 9mm, .38, sawed-off shotgun, and an M1 carbine. He said, "Follow me."
Two other guys at the bottom of the stairs took our bullets. They put us into an Alfa Romeo and questioned us on the way to the G2 offices [state security]. They kept us six weeks, questioned us twice. Then one night, they said, "Let’s go, guys." Didn’t tell us nothing. They drove us to a halfway house in Havana that was full of hijackers and political refugees. There were no locks on the doors. They showed us to our bunk beds and that was that.