Assemblyman Dave Rible and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini introduced a bipartisan resolution today calling on the United States to withhold normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba until fugitive JoAnne Chesimard is extradited.
"As a former law enforcement officer who was a potential target of cold-blooded murderer JoAnne Chesimard, and other terrorists like her, I am extremely disturbed and appalled that President Obama would even consider restoring diplomatic relations with the country that has granted her political asylum for these many years," stated Rible, R-Monmouth, a retired Wall Township police officer who trained at the New Jersey State Police Academy in Sea Girt, NJ.
"Ms. Chesimard is a convicted murderer who deserves to spend the rest of her life behind bars," he continued. "By aiding and abetting this terrorist, Cuba has insulted our State Police and every member of New Jersey's law enforcement community and has interfered with the ability of Ms. Chesimard to be brought to justice for the murder of one of this state's finest."
The resolution urges President Barack Obama and Congress to delay normalizing relations with Cuba until Chesimard is extradited.
The resolution is in response to recent events that have signaled the beginning of the United States easing economic sanctions on Cuba and the easing of travel restrictions on Cuban Americans traveling to Cuba.
"While Ms. Chesimard has been living freely in Cuba since deliberately executing Trooper Foerster as he lay wounded by gunfire and subsequently escaping from prison, Trooper Foerster's family has been deprived of a husband, a father and a son," said Angelini, R-Monmouth, whose husband is a law enforcement officer. "They are haunted everyday by the callous act of this coward who rightfully should be extradited to the U.S. before there can be any discussion of easing restrictions with Cuba."
Rible added that he is proud to announce that the resolution has received the support of Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, D-Bergen.
It has also been co-sponsored by all 32 members of the Republican Assembly caucus. State Senator Sean Kean, R-Monmouth, has introduced an identical resolution in the Senate as well.
Chesimard was convicted in 1977 of the May 2, 1973 murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and wounding of New Jersey State Trooper James Harper during a shoot-out on the New Jersey Turnpike. Sentenced to life in prison, she escaped from a New Jersey prison in 1979 and later fled to Cuba, where she was granted political asylum and has been living freely ever since.
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