Cuban officials won’t send back NJ cop killer

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HAVANA -

One of Cuba’s top officials said Monday that the country will not send back American fugitives, including Joanne Chesimard, the woman convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper.

President Donald Trump announced last week that he would roll back the United States’ more open policy toward Cuba put into place by the Obama administration. Trump called for the harboring of criminals and fugitives to end and even referred to Chesimard by name.

Chesimard is a member of the Black Liberation Army and was convicted of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foester in 1973. She escaped prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said that the country would not release any fugitives. He says that Cuba considers them to be human rights activists. Rodriguez also called Cuban Americans an “aging, illegitimate” sector.

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, a longtime critic of the Cuban government, says that this policy will have negative impacts on Cuba.

“If they do not release Joanne Chesimard and other cop killers and fugitives, then I doubt very much that they will see the light of day on U.S. foreign policy that in any way could help the regime,” Menendez says.

The president also announced that individual travel to Cuba would be banned, along with business dealings with the Cuban government. He says that these bans will remain in place until Cuba releases political prisoners and holds supervised elections.

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