Tags: Trump Administration | Castro-Cuba | War on Terrorism | Chris Christie | Cuba | Joanne Chesimard

Report: Christie Blasts Cuba for Harboring Convicted Cop-Killer

By    |   Tuesday, 21 April 2015 06:54 PM

If Cuba wants to be welcomed into "the family of civilized nations" it must turn over terrorists including the convicted killer of a New Jersey state trooper, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday during a visit to the State Department, USA Today reports.

A Republican presidential prospect, Christie questioned whether Cuba should be removed from a U.S. list of countries identified as state sponsors of terrorism while it is still harboring Joanne Chesimard, a member of the former Black Liberation Army.

Chesimard was found guilty of murder in the 1973 shooting of State Trooper Werner Foerster and injuring Trooper James Harper in a gunfight after a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Another BLA member was also killed in the gunfight.

Chesimard escaped from prison in 1979 and made her way to Cuba.

"I have no problem with Cuba being welcomed back into the family of civilized nations, but you have to be civilized," Christie said. "And harboring a cop killer is not civilized conduct."

Christie was in Washington speaking at a international business conference hosted by the State Department, which has recommended that Cuba be taken off the terror blacklist — a step endorsed by President Barack Obama as part of his effort to defuse hostilities and reset relations with the communist island nation.

Chesimard, who goes by the name of Assata Shakur, has been on the FBI's Most Wanted List for decades. She later moved to the list of the Most Wanted Terrorists, and now lives openly in Cuba as a guest of the government, which gave her asylum after her prison escape.

She and other U.S. fugitives on the island "have emerged as nettlesome speed bumps in the quest by the Obama administration to fast-track its plan to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba," writes columnist Mike Kelly of The Record, which covers North Jersey.

Christie, considered a potential 2016 presidential candidate, was on a roster of speakers Wednesday including Secretary of State John Kerry, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hern√°ndez, USA Today reports.

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If Cuba wants to be welcomed into the family of civilized nations it must turn over terrorists, including the convicted killer of a New Jersey state trooper, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday during a visit to the State Department, USA Today reports.
Chris Christie, Cuba, Joanne Chesimard, BLA, state prisoners of terrorism, Obama
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2015-54-21
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 06:54 PM
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