EDISON - President Barack Obama has indicated that he will soon remove Cuba from the U.S. list of countries that sponsor terrorism, but a New Jersey man who lost his father to a bombing disagrees with that approach.
Frank Connor lived in Fair Lawn in 1975 when he went to lunch at Manhattan's Fraunces Tavern, where he was killed in a bombing by Puerto Rican nationalists known as the FALN.
According to government reports, William Morales was a bomb maker with ties to the terror group. Morales was captured and convicted of other crimes years after the bombing, but he escaped to Cuba like Joanne Chesimard, who was convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper. She also found asylum in Cuba.
"It's been all these terrorists that are in Cuba, and now all of a sudden we're dismissing the murder and mayhem that they caused in this country," says Joe Connor, Frank's son, of Glen Rock.
In a statement, the U.S. Department of State said, "The re-establishment of diplomatic relations and re-opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana will bolster our efforts to seek the return of fugitives. Normalization is a complex process that will take time."
But it is additional time that Connor feels he doesn't have. "He took away my childhood. He took away my innocence. He took away our family's hero: My father," he said.
Morales has declined to comment to the media.
Meanwhile, President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro will attend this week's Summit of the Americas. While no formal meeting has been set between the two, the White House says the leaders will likely cross paths at some point.