The Cuban-American’s in the Senate are speaking with a unified voice against President Obama’s decision to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Senator Rubio released a statement via press release and social media denouncing the President’s move. He also released a video statement explaining why Cuba should remain on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Rubio: “Well, the decision made by the White House today is a terrible one, but not surprising unfortunately. Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism. They harbor fugitives of American justice, including someone who killed a police officer in New Jersey over 30 years ago. It’s also the country that’s helping North Korea evade weapons sanctions by the United Nations. They should have remained on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, and I think sends a chilling message to our enemies abroad that this White House is no longer serious about calling terrorism by its proper name.”
Earlier this year, Rubio joined Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, pressing for answers on the status of the fugitives the Castro regime is harboring, as well as the threats posed to the U.S. legal system by the administration’s removal of Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List. Holder has yet to respond to the Senators’ letter. Rubio also highlighted the Castro regime’s harboring of fugitives like Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional Puertorriquena’s (FALN) bombmaker William Morales, and its support of terrorist groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry last month.
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who is currently embroiled in a corruption scandal, also joined Rubio and Cruz to denounce the President’s decision.
As he has since Obama’s announcement in December, Menendez cited convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard, who escaped prison and fled to Cuba. Chesimard was the first woman named to the FBI’s list of the top 10 most wanted terrorists and Menendez said the removal of Cuba from the terrorism list makes it less likely that Chesimard will ever be brought to justice.
“There is no explanation, no justification, and no comfort that can be provided today to the family of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster, who was murdered in cold blood by Joanne Chesimard,” Menendez said. “New Jersey’s law enforcement community will forever mourn the loss of Trooper Foerster and today’s announcement reopens a painful wound for so many people in my state.”
“For Cuba to be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, it must demonstrate changed behavior through verifiable actions, not empty rhetoric,” Menendez said. “Cuba remains as repressive today as ever and is undeserving of this potential newfound designation.”
This comes just a few months after a bipartisan group of every Cuban-American in Congress (8 altogether) stood together to denounce the Obama administration’s moves toward Cuba. Today those feelings are even stronger, as another Cuban-American has been elected to Congress, Alex Mooney (R-WV), and has joined his fellow Cuban-Americans to stand against normalization with Cuba.