New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Calls on Democrats to Demand Return of Chesimard During Cuba Visit

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With an unofficial delegation of legislative Democrats set to visit Cuba in early February, Senator Joe Pennachio (R-Essex, Morris, and Passaic) called on legislators taking the trip to demand the return of domestic terrorist Joanne Chesimard at every opportunity.

With an unofficial delegation of legislative Democrats set to visit Cuba, Sen. Joe Pennachio called on legislators taking the trip to demand the return of domestic terrorist Joanne Chesimard. (FBI)

“A group of Democrat legislators is set to visit communist Cuba, a country that has harbored the murderer of a New Jersey State Trooper for decades,” said Sen. Pennacchio. “Any New Jersey legislators who visit Cuba must demand Joanne Chesimard’s immediate extradition to the United States. She is a cop killer who must face justice.”

Convicted and serving a life sentence for the 1973 murder of Trooper Werner Foerster, Chesimard escaped from prison and fled to Cuba where she has received asylum since 1984.

Pennacchio has been a vocal advocate for the return of Chesimard. He is the primary sponsor of SR-15, urging Cuba to extradite Joanne Chesimard to the United States.

This is not the first time a group of New Jersey politicians has visited Cuba. In 2016, an unsanctioned delegation of legislators toured the communist island. Although Joanne Chesimard was said to be brought up in conversations with Cuban government officials, the legislators efforts were ineffective.

“It’s time for New Jersey elected officials to get tough on bringing back a convicted cop killer,” said Pennacchio. “We must stand unified in our demand for Chesimard’s extradition. It must be made clear that our relations will not progress with the regime until Chesimard is rightfully returned.”

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