AS PRESIDENT Obama concludes what is deemed a historic visit to Havana, I once again remind the people of our country that this new engagement with Cuba doesn’t come without a price. The Obama administration’s unilateral action to open diplomatic ties comes at the expense of justice for slain New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster, wounded Trooper James Harper and their families.
For more than three decades, the Cuban government has given safe harbor and refuge to a domestic terrorist – a cop killer who was duly tried and convicted by a jury of her peers, sentenced to imprisonment, and who fled justice rather than pay for her crimes. Every day that she remains at large from justice has been a travesty to her victims’ families and the memory of Trooper Foerster.
Having drawn attention to these restored relations with no less than a presidential trip but without any mention of the fugitives harbored by Cuba, I urge the president to do what common sense and decency requires – that he demand the return of convicted murderer Joanne Chesimard, who stands remorseless and free after the cold-blooded, execution-style killing of a New Jersey State Trooper and the serious wounding of another.
I am asking the president to purposefully put aside his priorities of enhancing trade and travel with Cuba and stand up for the more important values of the United States as defenders of democratic liberty, rule of law and human rights.
While I continue to profoundly disagree with President Obama’s foreign policy of restoring diplomatic relations with a country that shows no clear commitment to change under its hardened communist dictator, Raul Castro, as I’ve stated before, I consider it an affront to every resident of our state, country, and in particular, the men and women of the New Jersey State Police, who have tirelessly tried to bring this killer back to justice.
Mr. President, the families of State Police Troopers Foerster and Harper deserve justice.