With no deal on convicted killer, police slam US-Cuba pact
TRENTON, N.J. — The head of New Jersey’s state police has criticized a law enforcement deal reached between the U.S. and Cuba, because it doesn’t require the return of a woman convicted of killing a state trooper.
Col. Rick Fuentes said Thursday that the information-sharing agreement announced this week burned Barack Obama’s last opportunity to negotiate for the return of fugitives including Joanne Chesimard before he leaves office.
Fuentes says he will work with Donald Trump to negotiate for her return after he is inaugurated.
“By burning the last bridge to this administration’s opportunity to gain their negotiated return, families who have long suffered the consequences of their terrorist acts and law enforcement everywhere in this country have been shown the back of the hand,” Fuentes said. “An ignominious torch has been passed to the next president.”
Joanne Chesimard was convicted in 1977 in the death of Trooper Werner Foerster during a gunfight on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973. She was sentenced to life in prison but escaped and traveled to Cuba, where Fidel Castro granted her asylum and she has been living under the name Assata Shakur.
The Obama administration and Cuba’s Interior Ministry Monday agreed to share information on international criminal activity such as terrorism, human trafficking and money laundering despite Republican objections to U.S. law-enforcement cooperation with President Raul Castro’s government.