Rubio: Cuba ‘is harboring a killer from New Jersey who killed a state trooper’

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( – Although President Barack Obama plans to visit Communist Cuba and meet with dictator Raul Castro in March, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he would not visit the island until it is “a free Cuba,” and noted that the regime is harboring U.S. criminals, including a woman who was covicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper.

At Wednesday’s CNN Republican Presidential Town Hall in Greenville, S.C., host Anderson Cooper asked Rubio about Obama’s pending trip and whether he, if elected president, would also visit Cuba.

Rubio said, “Not if there’s not a free Cuba.  And I’ll tell you the problem with the Cuban government:  It’s not just a Communist dictatorship; it is an anti-American Communist dictatorship.  The Cuban government three years ago helped North Korea evade U.S. sanctions. They were caught trying to sell missile parts to North Korea but nothing happened.”

“The Cuban government today harbors hundreds of fugitives of American judicial, Medicare fraudsters,” said Rubio.  “There are people there who have stolen your money.  They come to the U.S., they steal money – Medicare fraud, they go back to Cuba. The Cuban government’s protecting them.”

Rubio also said, “The Cuban government is harboring a killer from New Jersey who killed a state trooper in New Jersey. She escaped jail, fled to Cuba and the Cuban government is protecting her.”

That woman is Joanne Chesimard, who is on the FBI’s most wanted terrorists’ list because she shot and killed New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973.

Chesimard, a member of the Black Liberation Army, was convicted and went to prison but escaped after six years and fled to Communist Cuba, where she was given political asylum by the Castro regime.

Continuing his remarks about Cuba,  Sen. Rubio said, “Beyond that, they’re a repressive regime.  There’s no elections in Cuba, there’s no choice in Cuba.  And so my whole problem — I want the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba to change. But it has to be reciprocal.”

“Look at what we did with Burma or Myanmar, where the U.S. opened up to them but they made political changes,” he said. “And today, the former minority party is now the majority party in their legislative body because our change towards them was conditional on their change towards their people.”

“He [Obama] didn’t even ask that of the Cuban government,” said Rubio.   “And so today, a year and two months after the opening of Cuba, the Cuban government remains as repressive as ever.  But now, they have access to millions, if not billions of dollars in resources that they didn’t have access to before this opening.”

— Written by Michael W. Chapman