Cuba should return its terrorists to US, terror victim's son says
By Eric Shawn Published June 26, 2017 Fox News
They sought safety on the shores of Cuba from American justice.
Now Joe Connor wants them back.
"Get these guys back, as a starting point for any further opening up of
Cuba," Connor insists.
An estimated 70 fugitives, including terrorists, murderers, bank robbers
and hijackers, sought refuge in Cuba and remain protected to this day by
the government. The notorious F.A.L.N. Puerto Rican terrorist group bomb
maker Willie Morales, and convicted New Jersey State Trooper killer
Joanne Chesimard, are among the most infamous who have enjoyed the
benefits of decades of Cuban protection and generosity.
Connor, whose father was killed in a New York City F.A.L.N. terrorist
bombing, says President Trump needs to add the return of the fugitives
to any new agreement with the President Raul Castro's regime.
Morales, whose hands were blown off when a bomb accidently exploded,
escaped from jail and found haven in Cuba in 1988. He is on the F.B.I.'s
Most Wanted List and charged with "Unlawful flight to avoid
Joanne Chesimard, a member of the extremist Black Liberation Army, was
convicted of murder in 1977 and received political asylum in Cuba in
1984. She is also on the F.B.I's Most Wanted Terrorist List, wanted
for "act of terrorism, domestic terrorism and unlawful flight to avoid
Joe's father, Frank, was killed in the terrorist bombing of Fraunces
Tavern, the historic restaurant and museum in Lower Manhattan that
served as a headquarters for George Washington and where on December
4th,1783, he bid farewell to his troops. The attack, carried out by the
F.A.L.N., killed four people and wounded 44 on January 24, 1975. Frank
Connor was only 33 years old, Joe was 9. The attack was one of more than
100 bombings in the United States that the F.A.L.N. claimed
responsibility for during a wave of terror in the 1970s and 80s. Connor
has since dedicated his life to fighting for justice for his father and
other victims of terrorism.
When President Trump announced the rolling back of some of his
predecessor's Cuban policies on June 16th, he called on the Castro
regime to return the fugitives.
"To the Cuban government, I say, put an end to the abuse of dissidents,
release the political prisoners, stop jailing innocent people, open
yourselves to political and economic freedoms, return the fugitives from
American justice, including the return of the cop killer Joanne Chesimard."
Connor says he is "encouraged" by the president naming Chesimard and
raising the issue, but says: "I wish he would mention Morales' name, he
is no less a terrorist than Chesimard."
When President Obama announced the new U.S. Cuban policy in 2014, and
restored diplomatic ties with the hardline Communist island nation, the
State Department said that it would "discuss" the issue of the fugitives
with the Castro government. But the status of the wanted criminals was
not made a part of the agreement, which Connor says is a glaring and
"It was a capitulation by the Obama administration, they didn't get
anything in return," Connor said. "As a matter of fact, they took Cuba
off the state sponsor of terror list, and that is one of the points I
think Mr. Trump needs to add Cuba back to the state sponsor of terror
list, because clearly they are sponsoring terrorists by having them in
their country and that would be a big economic hit to Cuba."
Connor said that he doesn't think officials in the Obama administration
"were trying to get them back, I don't think they had any intention of
getting them back. The only way to get people back is having leverage.
Obama gave away all of our leverage."
He said the U.S. now has leverage, and can correct the oversight that
has left several dozens of wanted criminals living without consequence,
just 90 miles from our shores.
Follow Eric Shawn on Twitter: @EricShawnTV
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