"That was a clash of cultures," he explained. "I am Muslim, and she's a santera."
A second failed marriage produced two daughters: Ntann, 7, and Assata Shakur, 11, named after the American fugitive also believed to be residing in Cuba whom the FBI added to its list of most wanted terrorists in May.
The girl's mother, Aime, also a Cuban, said she didn't realize her husband was naming their daughter after a fellow militant, convicted of murdering a New Jersey state trooper.
"He likes Japanese things, so I thought it was a Japanese name," she said with a roll of her eyes.
Raising his two daughters, Potts said, made him realize how much he missed family in the United States and wanted his children to meet them.
He said he also needed to make amends and apologize in person to the passengers of the plane he hijacked.
Potts still considers himself a revolutionary but says that both he and the times have changed, and violence is no longer an acceptable way to bring about change.
"I regret taking the plane and putting those people's lives in jeopardy," he said. "I didn't have that perspective at the time, but I have it now and will have it until the day I die. I would have been responsible for all those people dying."
In 2009, Potts wrote President Barack Obama, requesting a pardon for the hijacking.
Hearing nothing back, Potts then wrote the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami to ask whether a plea deal could be worked out to take into account the time he had served in Cuba.
"Fifteen years in a communist prison that's been cited for human rights violations, I have paid my debts to society," he said.
Potts again got no reply, but his daughters were given U.S. citizenship and passports.
Potts wanted to travel with them to the U.S. and in September said he offered to surrender and face the charges awaiting him in the United States.
Nearly six months later, his daughters have been living with relatives in the U.S. since December, but he is still waiting for an answer.
But without a renewed U.S. passport, Potts can't join his girls.
Dozens of fugitives are believed to be living in Cuba, from convicted cop killers to Puerto Rican separatists to suspects in a South Florida Medicare fraud scheme.
The U.S. State Department has placed Cuba on the list of countries that support state terror, along with Iran and Syria, for providing a safe haven for fugitives from U.S. and international justice.
Potts is in all likelihood the only fugitive on the island offering to be tried.
"No one's harboring me," Potts countered. "I am trying to go back."
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami said Potts has been indicted for the 1984 hijacking but would not comment on why his offers to surrender have gone unanswered.