White House officials would not tell NBC News Friday whether President Obama will raise the issue of 70 fugitives from U.S. justice — including convicted cop-killer JoAnne Chesimard — who are hiding in Cuba when he meets Cuban leaders during his upcoming historic visit to the island.
A White House official did say, however, that the “United States continued to seek the return from Cuba of fugitives from U.S. justice and has repeatedly raised those cases with the Cuban government.”
Chesimard, who fled to Cuba in 1984 after escaping from a New Jersey prison in 1979, was convicted of the 1973 execution-style murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster. She is on the FBI’s Most Wanted International Terrorists list, and is the most notorious of a group of criminals and violent radicals who have sought refuge in Cuba since Fidel Castro took power.
Other fugitives include Willie Morales, who blew off his own hands while making bombs for a Puerto Rican independence group, and Victor Manuel Gerena, the alleged “inside man” in a $7 million armored car robbery.