Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) issued the following statement in reaction to the White House decision to remove Cuba from the list of Sates Sponsor of Terrorism.

“Taking Cuba off of the list of the State Sponsors of Terrorism sends the wrong message to Cuba and sends the wrong message to other State Sponsors of Terrorism.

“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. 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. This decision also leaves the FBI wondering how one of the Top 10 Most Wanted Terrorists list, Joanne Chesimard, who is wanted for murdering a New Jersey State Trooper, will ever face justice.

“This decision to take Cuba off the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism sends a message that you can continue to be complicit as Cuba has – with North Korea and China – in the smuggling of jets, missiles, and other weapons in direct violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions – and do it with impunity.

“This decision to remove Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism allows Basque terrorists wanted by Spain, and members of FARC wanted by Colombia, to see Cuba as a place of refuge.

“How can we say Cuba is not a State Sponsor of Terrorism when the Castro regime continues to harbor dozens of other American fugitives: cop killers, plane hijackers, bomb makers, arms traffickers?

"For Cuba to be removed from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, it must demonstrate changed behavior through verifiable actions, not empty rhetoric. Cuba remains as repressive today as ever and is undeserving of this potential newfound designation."