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US Senator Menendez Says Cuba Should Remain on Sponsor of Terrorism List

© AP Photo / New Jersey State Police, FileNew Jersey State Police showing Assata Shakur - the former Joanne Chesimard
New Jersey State Police showing Assata Shakur - the former Joanne Chesimard - Sputnik International
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US Senator Bob Menendez renewed his call for Cuba to remain on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list unless or until Joanne Chesimard, one of the FBI’s Most Wanted terrorists, is returned to New Jersey to face her sentence for the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.

A car used as a taxi drives through the streets of Havana December 19, 2014. - Sputnik International
White House Spokesman Says US Still Disagrees With Cuba on Several Issues
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Cuba should remain on the US State Sponsor of Terrorism list until the island country extradites convicted police killer Joanne Chesimard, US Senator Bob Menendez said Tuesday.

“US Senator Bob Menendez today renewed his call for Cuba to remain on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list unless or until Joanne Chesimard, one of the FBI’s Most Wanted terrorists, is returned to New Jersey to face her sentence for the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster,” the office of the Senator Menendez said following a congressional hearing on Cuba on Tuesday.

Chesimard was convicted in 1977 for the murder of a New Jersey state police officer, but escaped from prison in 1979. She is believed by the FBI to be hiding in Cuba.

The FBI has issued a $1 million reward for information leading to Chesimard’s arrest.

The New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police and the New Jersey State Troopers Fraternal Association joined Menendez in calling on the US President Barack Obama’s administration to put normalizing relations with Cuba on hold until Chesimard is extradited.

In December, Obama announced Washington’s decision to re-establish diplomatic relations and ease a five-decade-long US trade embargo and travel restrictions on Cuba.

Obama said the United States has plans to work together with Havana in areas of mutual interest, including counterterrorism, drug-trafficking, disaster response, healthcare and migration.

As part of the normalization of relations, Cuba released USAID contractor Alan Gross while the United States released three convicted Cuban spies. Cuba also promised to release several dozen political prisoners.

The United States has imposed an economic embargo against Cuba since 1961. To lift the embargo, however, Congress would have to enact legislation. Senator Menendez is the Democrats’ ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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