WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today renewed his call for Cuba to remain on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list unless or until Joanne Chesimard, one of the FBI’s Most Wanted terrorists, is returned to New Jersey to face her sentence for the murder of N.J. State Trooper Werner Foerster.
During today’s Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing, Menendez also submitted for the Senate official record, a resolution from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police and a letter from the State Troopers’ Fraternal Association of New Jersey echoing the Senator’s call on behalf of the state’s entire law enforcement community.
“I’m concerned that we released a Cuban spy convicted of conspiracy to commit murder. He gets to go back to Cuba and we can get no movement on the dozens of U.S. fugitives living under asylum in Cuba, including Joanne Chesimard, who is still on the FBI’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists,” said Menendez in his opening remarks. “Why was her return not part of the deal?”
“The New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, at its Business Meeting of January 8, 2015, strongly urge the President and Congress of the United States of America to delay normalizing relations with the government of Cuba until such time as convicted felon and Joanne Chesimard is extradited to the United States,” stated the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police in their Resolution.
“Cuba’s provision of safe harbor to Chesimard by providing asylum to a convicted cop killer, and her ability to elude justice, is an affront to every resident of our state, our country, and in particular, the men and women of the New Jersey State Police, who have tirelessly tried to bring this killer back to justice.” said Christopher J. Burgos, President of New Jersey State Troopers Fraternal Association.
Menendez then asked State Department Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson to confirm Cuba was providing sanctuary to Chesimard. That exchange follows:
Links to New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police and State Troopers’ Fraternal Association of New Jersey: