Christie to Obama: demand return from Cuba of cop killer Chesimard

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Governor Chris Christie sent President Barack Obama a letter on Friday, urging the president to demand the Cuban government’s immediate return of convicted cop-killer and escaped fugitive Joanne Chesimard to New Jersey to face justice before any further consideration of normalized U.S.-Cuba relations.

A convicted cop killer who executed New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973, Chesimard before escaped from prison and fled to Cuba, where the government gives him safe haven.

In the letter, Christie said he does not share the President’s view that restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba is the right move, but made the case for using this as an opportunity for Cuba and its government to show it is serious about change:

“Despite my profound disagreement with this decision, I believe there is an opportunity for Cuba and its government to show the American people it is serious about change. ….

“Cuba’s provision of safe harbor to Chesimard by providing political asylum to a convicted cop killer, and her ability to elude justice, is an affront to every resident of our state, our 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.  I urge you to demand the immediate return of Chesimard before any further consideration of restoration of diplomatic relations with the Cuban Government. …

“If, as you assert, Cuba is serious about embracing democratic principles then this action would be an essential first step.  I ask you to use this opportunity to engage with the Cuban government to get this resolved, and I am very disappointed that returning a convicted killer of a police officer was not already demanded and accomplished in the context of the steps you announced regarding this dictatorship.

“The family of her victims, like so many of those who have, and continue to suffer under the Castro regime, deserve this basic decency before further steps toward Cuba are taken by this government.”

See Fox News’ initial report here.

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Christie to Obama: demand return from Cuba of cop killer Chesimard