President Trump on Friday announced his tough new policy on Cuba — and demanded that the Communist country return the American fugitives it harbors, including cop-killer Joanne Chesimard.
“Return the fugitives from American justice including the return of the cop-killer Joanne Chesimard,” Trump thundered to applause and shouts of “Viva Trump.”
“To the Castro regime, I repeat, the harboring of criminals and fugitives will end. You have no choice. It will end,” he said at an event in Miami’s Little Havana.
Chesimard, a Queens-born black activist who changed her name to Assata Shakur, was a Black Liberation Army member who was convicted of killing a police officer in 1977.
She escaped from prison with the help of other BLA terrorists and in 1984 fled to Cuba, where the Castro regime granted her political asylum.
Under the president’s policy — which reverses some but not all of the changes introduced by the Obama administration when it restored diplomatic ties with the island nation — American citizens will be barred from staying in US-based hotels that operate in Cuba in partnership with the Cuban government.
Marriott is the only US hotel company with a property open in Cuba, and Trump’s new regulation could put its license renewal as well as the planned opening of the second hotel in jeopardy.
Marriott said in a statement it was taking a wait-and-see attitude about Trump’s plan.
“We have invested significant resources establishing a presence in Cuba, and with one hotel open and another in the pipeline we have just begun our work creating opportunity and a more vibrant tourism sector on the island,” the company said.
“We are still analyzing the policy directive issued by the President today, and its full effect on our current and planned operations in Cuba may depend on related forthcoming regulations.”
Trump basked in applause and cheers from the crowd in Little Havana.
But outside, Cuban-American protesters slammed the change.
“The Cuban people want more Americans coming, they want opportunity. They live off these tips they make in the private sector,” Patrick Hidalgo, a Cuban-American activist.
“Any curtailing of that is not good for the cause of democracy itself, the transition and for just the daily living of average Cubans.”
Inside, the president slammed the Castro regime for human rights violations.
Many senators, including Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, are opposed to Trump’s policy.
Change “that diminishes the ability of Americans to travel freely to Cuba is not in the best interests of the United States or the Cuban people,” he said