President Obama is going to Cuba next week, the first official state visit by a sitting president in more than 80 years.
It’ll surely be followed by regularly scheduled domestic airline and cruise-ship service, rock concerts, major sporting events, US corporate investment and thousands of American tourists curious to see Marxism up close and how an entire country can be reduced to an underclass.
avana is where most of the tourists will likely travel. There’s a sprinkling of four- and five-star hotels along the scenic port and bay of Havana, several of which have at their backs the barrios of the Old City and Centro Habana.
There is something beautiful and rustic about the panorama of poverty when it is viewed from the upper floors of a luxury hotel.
But Americans, beware. Unlike the president and his entourage, you aren’t dignitaries with security teams, or part of a pampered and propagandized political delegation fattened and flattered by the type of cuisine and accommodations most Cubans can only dream about.
I’m not saying that the jittery Cuban military and police aren’t interested in your movements on the island — in fact, they surely are — but you’ll have no visible escorts or other functional layers of protection.
You also should know that some of America’s most wanted terrorists are living openly in Cuba. These still-dangerous revolutionaries roam the island, disenchanted about all things American.
It’s highly unlikely that the Cuban landscape will be swept of their presence before your arrival because US government negotiators, speaking on behalf of the Obama administration, seem to lack both the will and intent to press the Castro brothers for their return to the United States to answer for their crimes.
Make no mistake, however, about the will and intent of Gov. Chris Christie and the New Jersey State Police to continue to advocate strongly against their privileged and coddled status of political asylum.
Four of them — Joanne Chesimard, William Guillermo Morales, Victor Manuel Gerena and Charles Hill — hail from US-based domestic terror organizations whose violent track record includes bringing about the deaths of 17 police officers, five American civilians and two members of the US military, as well as perpetrating a string of 159 bombings that have destroyed the lives and families of many more.
Gerena remains on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted list, and Chesimard holds the distinction of being the only woman on the photo spread of the FBI’s Most Wanted International Terrorists list.
The FBI and the state of New Jersey continue to pledge a $2 million reward for Chesimard’s return to prison for her conviction in the murder of New Jersey Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973.
My connection to Foerster’s murder by Chesimard and several accomplices runs the breadth of my career.
From the time of her escape from a New Jersey prison on Nov. 2, 1979, to my deeper investigative involvement in her flight from justice while assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in the mid-’80s and into my current role as colonel and superintendent, the New Jersey State Police and I have never lost the determination to see her returned to prison.
For your safety, before you depart for your long-awaited Cuban vacation, please visit the New Jersey State Police website at njsp.org. You’ll find the most updated photographs of these four terrorist fugitives accompanied by a short bio from the FBI.
If your walk about the island crosses the path of any of these coddled criminals, I’d ask you to immediately report their sighting to the US Embassy in Havana. At all hours, the embassy can be reached at (53)(7)839-4100, a handy number to keep in your pocket to mitigate many of the unforeseen perils of travel to Cuba.