The superintendent of the New Jersey State Police offers this video as a public-service announcement to potential travelers to a newly-embraced Cuba, but the political context of this warning is clear. With Barack Obama opening up Cuba for tourism and making a state visit himself this week, Garden State law enforcement wants to know when four fugitives from justice will get sent back to the US. That includes Joanne Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur, who escaped from prison in 1979 after being convicted of murdering Trooper Wayne Foerster in 1973:
***PLEASE SHARE***Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, has been unwaivering in his efforts to have Joanne Chesimard, a.k.a. Assata Shakur, returned to New Jersey to serve out the remainder of her prison sentence for the murder of Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973.For the first time, Colonel Fuentes is directly addressing our social media audience with a dire warning for U.S. citizens planning a trip to Cuba. We are asking our extended social media family to both like and share this post to help spread the word. We will not rest until Joanne Chesimard and the other terrorist fugitives roaming free in Cuba are returned to the United States. #ReturnChesimard
Posted by New Jersey State Police on Thursday, March 17, 2016
Fuentes also sounded the warning in a column run by the Miami Herald last week:
Tourists to Cuba, please be careful. You are not dignitaries with security teams or part of a pampered and propagandized political delegation fattened and flattered by the type of cuisine and accommodations most Cubans can only dream about.
I’m not saying that the jittery Cuban military and police aren’t interested in your movements on the island, but you will have no visible escorts or other functional layers of protection.
You also should know that some of America’s most wanted terrorists are living openly in Cuba. They roam the island freely and are still dangerous revolutionaries, disenchanted about all things American. It is highly unlikely that the Cuban landscape will be swept of their presence before your arrival because U.S. government negotiators speaking on behalf of the Obama administration seem to lack both the will and intent to press the Castro brothers for their return to the United States to answer for their crimes.
Make no mistake, however, about the will and intent of Gov. Chris Christie and the New Jersey State Police to continue to advocate strongly against their coddled, privileged status of political asylum. Four of them, Joanne Chesimard, William Guillermo Morales, Victor Manuel Gerena and Charles Hill hail from U.S.-based domestic terror organizations whose violent track records have brought about the deaths of 17 police officers, five American civilians, two members of the U.S. military and a string of 159 bombings that have destroyed the lives and families of many more. Gerena remains on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, and Chesimard holds distinction of being the only woman among the FBI’s Most Wanted International Terrorists list.
Of course, with Obama doing photo-ops with Che Guevara’s iconic image over his shoulder, the administration clearly has few worries about the optics of old Leftist terrorists remaining on the run. The Castro regime has even less interest in helping Obama create even a hint of face-saving optics, Marc Thiessen reminds readers:
President Obama went sightseeing in Old Havana, savoring the adulation of pro-regime crowds welcoming him on streets that had been whitewashed for his visit. But a few hours before his arrival, the true nature of the dictatorship he is embracing reared its ugly head, as hundreds of uniformed security personnel attacked and arrested peaceful protesters leaving Palm Sunday Mass.
A group of dissidents known as the Ladies in White was met outside Havana’s Santa Rita church by an organized crowd of Castro loyalists shouting insults and revolutionary slogans. Then, The Post reports, Castro’s secret police pounced on the women and “half-dragged, half-carried them to waiting buses,” while men marching with the women “were chased, thrown to the curb and handcuffed.” As they were arrested, the crowd chanted “This is Fidel’s street!”
This was a slap in the face to President Obama — a display intended to send a clear message that, despite his normalization of relations, nothing has changed in Cuba.
How little respect do the Castro brothers have for Obama? This month, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes met in Miami with Carlos Amel Oliva, head of the youth wing of a major dissident organization on the island. When Oliva returned to Cuba, he was detained by the regime for “antisocial behavior.” His was just one of 526 political detentions in the first two weeks of March leading up to Obama’s trip.
And who are these fugitives? Chesimard/Shakur has gotten the most attention, but the others from the US are just as bad:
Fuentes also named fugitives Charles Hill, William Guillermo Morales and Victor Manuel Gerena. Hill, 66, is wanted by U.S. authorities for his role in the murder of a New Mexico state trooper and the hijacking of a TWA plane. He was a member of a militant group who has been residing in Cuba since the early 1970s.
Morales, 66, was convicted of multiple federal charges for his role as a bomb maker in the 1970s. Morales, whose bombs caused multiple deaths and injuries, escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba where he’s been living since the late 1980s.
Gerena, 57, is wanted for his part in an armed robbery that resulted in a $7 million heist that he carried out as a member of the anti-U.S. revolutionary organization known as Los Macheteros. Gerena has been hiding out in Cuba since the 1980s.
Shouldn’t extradition have been a precursor to head-of-state visits? Or does Obama’s ego take precedence over bringing American traitors to justice?
Unfortunately, that was a rhetorical question.