By Marco Rubio, Sunshine State News
With reports that the U.S. government and Cuban regime have discussed the possibility of releasing convicted Cuban spy Ana Belen Montes in exchange for Joanne Chesimard, who killed a New Jersey police officer and has been living in Cuba for decades, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., expressed his firm opposition to the idea this week:
Ana Belen Montes is one of the most hardened and unrepentant spies ever captured and convicted by the United States government. Over an extended period of time, Belen Montes repeatedly compromised our national security and endangered American lives.
Were it not for the courageous actions of federal law enforcement and counter-espionage agents, there is no telling how much damage Belen Montes could have wrought on our national security. Releasing her from prison for any reason is a non-starter, but the notion that she would be given her freedom in exchange for a convicted cop killer would be an even greater outrage to the victims of both Ana Belen Montes and Joanne Chesimard.
The Obama administration at every level should unequivocally take this possibility off the negotiating table and make clear to the Castro regime that it will never happen.
It is crazy that something like this even needs to be said, but as we have seen with the Obama administration time and time again, nothing is outside the realm of possibility. Whether releasing terrorists from GITMO or the Cuban spies it has already released, the Obama administration has shown a reckless approach to one-sided prisoner swaps that endanger America’s security and send a message that our justice system can be circumvented for the right price or the right short-sighted political goal.
Ana Belen Montes deserves to serve every single day of her sentence in a federal prison, and Joanne Chesimard should join her soon, and the Obama administration should restate their commitment to both of these goals and they should do it soon.
U.S. Sen .Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was first elected to the Senate in 2010