Sen. Menendez slams Obama’s plans to visit Cuba

New Jersey’s senior senator is slamming President Barack Obama’s plans to visit Cuba. The president and first lady are scheduled to visit Cuba March 21-22.

Sen. Bob Menendez slams Pres. Barack Obama's plans to visit Cuba in March.

Sen. Bob Menendez slams Pres. Barack Obama's plans to visit Cuba in March. (2/18/16)

UNION CITY - New Jersey’s senior senator is slamming President Barack Obama’s plans to visit Cuba.

The president and first lady are scheduled to visit Cuba March 21-22.

Sen. Bob Menendez called the trip “totally unacceptable.” He held a news conference in Union City Thursday alongside law enforcement officers and political prisoners speaking out on relations with the communist country.

“Since Castro seized power and instituted his dictatorship, American presidents…did not rush to the island to shake hands with an oppressive dictator,” Sen. Menendez said.

The senator held the conference in Union City due to the city’s large Cuban population. Many of them fled to the United States to escape Castro’s regime and are not happy with the renewed relationship.

New Jersey’s law enforcement officers are also unhappy with the president’s announcement. New Jersey State Police want Cuba to return Joanne Chesimard, aka Assatta Shakur, who was convicted of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster. Chesimard has taken refuge in Cuba since the 70s.

Also living in Cuba is William Morales, a terrorist bombmaker linked to the murder of a New Jersey man named Frank Connor in 1975. His son, Joe Connor, has criticized Cuba for harboring Morales.

However, not all of New Jersey’s lawmakers think renewed relations with Cuba are necessarily a bad thing.

Assemblyman Tim Eustace visited Cuba and says connection will promote trade, exchanging ideas and healing.

“This has been going on for 60 years,” he says. “We're neighbors, at some point we should move on. Whatever we were trying to do didn't work.”

President Obama will be the first American president to visit Cuba since the 1920s.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

VIDEO: News conference on arrest in murder of 1 VIDEO: News conference on arrest in murder of Sarah Butler
Republican Steve Rogers announces he will run for 2 Republican Steve Rogers announces gubernatorial run
Dozens of fellow officers show up to support 3 Dozens show up to support fired Wayne police officer
Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, 20, was charged with the murder 4 Arrest made in murder of college student found in W. Orange
5 VIDEO: Jersey City Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Obama says Cuba visit will boost efforts to Obama says Cuba visit will boost efforts to restore US ties

President Barack Obama says his upcoming visit to Cuba will advance U.S. efforts to restore

New Jersey State Police remember slain Trooper Werner New Jersey State Police remember slain trooper

Members of the New Jersey State Police are remembering a trooper killed in the line

New Jersey leaders are worried about President Obama's NJ leaders demand Cuba hand over cop killer

New Jersey leaders are worried about President Obama's plan to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba.

New Jersey fugitive Joanne Chesimard could be brought Christie to Obama: Demand Cuba return cop killer

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he disagrees with President Obama's decision to normalize relations

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE