Sen. Bob Menendez has lashed out at President Barack Obama's decision to go to Cuba.

The New Jersey Democrat said Thursday that it's unacceptable for the president to "reward a dictatorial regime" when human rights abuses continue and democracy continues to be shunned.

The Cuban-American lawmaker said that Obama is prioritizing short-term economic interests.

Obama says that he will raise human rights issues and other U.S. concerns with Cuban President Raul Castro during the history-making visit in mid-March.

He said at the very least, he hopes to see fugitive Joanne Chesimard escorted by U.S. Marshals off Air Force One when it returns. Chesimard fled to Cuba after she was convicted in the 1973 slaying of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.

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