Cuba, U.S. fugitive swap could include Chesimard
The United States may be taking a step closer to bringing JoAnne Chesimard back home to continue serving time for the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.
NBC News reported that the issue of fugitives harbored by Cuba is again on the table as talks continue to normalize relations between the two countries. Ana Montes, who spied for the Cuban government while working at the U.S. Defense Department is at the top of the list of fugitives the U.S. would like to have exchange according to the report.
Chesimard, who is at the top of the New Jersey State Police Most Wanted list, has been brought up a number of times by Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Robert Menendez as a reason not to completely normalize relations until she is returned to the United States.
Christopher Burgos, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey, wrote President Obama a letter as he prepared to travel to Cuba in March, saying he had "great disappointment" that Obama had "given the Castro dictatorship priority" while ignoring those who enforce the rule of law at home.
In 1977, Chesimard was convicted of the first-degree murder of Officer Werner Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout. She escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba in 1984, where she received political asylum.
"The United States continues to seek the return from Cuba of fugitives from U.S. justice. The Department repeatedly raises fugitive cases with the Cuban government and will continue to do so at every appropriate opportunity," a State Department spokesman told NBC.