FONTOVA: Protecting A Sponsor of Terrorism 1

State keeps Castro kin safer than U.S. diplomats overseas

By Humberto Fontova, Washington Times

Protecting U.S. diplomats from terrorists on foreign soil is one thing. Protecting terrorism-sponsoring diplomats on U.S. soil quite another. The U.S. State Department is under heavy fire for failing at the job abroad.

A diplomat from a nation that the United States officially classifies as a state sponsor of terrorism, however, has no complaints against the State Department’s security services. This diplomat and her entourage, under a heavy State Department security detail, safely sashayed through New York and Philadelphia for almost two weeks this month without being subjected to so much as a frown from a bystander. When she stopped for Sunday brunch in Philadelphia’s Old City, one thing that caught the eye of the local paper was “heavy security” surrounding Raul Castro’s daughter Mariela and her Cuban cohorts.

For the second time in about a year, Ms. Castro, an official of her father and uncle’s terrorism-sponsoring regime, was granted a U.S. visa. The purpose of her visit to the nation that her uncle and father craved to attack with nuclear weapons and helped the Black Panthers and the Weathermen get terrorism training, and that millions of her hapless compatriots crave as refuge from the horrors her family inflicts, was to lecture Americans on human rights while receiving honors for her own contributions to human rights.

The forum and her award were courtesy of the Philadelphia-based homosexual-rights group Equality Forum, which also honored former Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat. The faithful communist apparatchik of a regime that incarcerated political prisoners at a higher rate than Josef Stalin during the Great Terror, slaughtered more Cubans than Adolf Hitler killed Germans during the Night of Long Knives and in the process converted a nation with a higher per-capita income than half of Europe into one that repulses Haitians, is on record as favoring homosexual marriage. Hence the human-rights honors and awards for Ms. Castro.

To Mr. Frank’s credit, he seemed to find the award to the communist official from his partners in homosexual activism slightly disturbing. While sharing a panel with Ms. Castro and mildly praising her work, Mr. Frank forthrightly called her father and uncle “among the great betrayers of liberalism and human rights.”

In addition to her forum and honors in Philadelphia, Ms. Castro also was honored with ovations at an International Action Center forum in New York. Under the protection of a State Department security detail and on U.S. taxpayers’ dime, Ms. Castro denounced the justice system of the nation that was feting and protecting her. In particular, the crowd thanked the Cuban official for harboring U.S. cop-killer fugitive Assata Shakur, who was put on the FBI’s most-wanted list as a domestic terrorist two weeks earlier. Raul Castro’s daughter also denounced the U.S. convictions of the terrorists known as “the Cuban Five,” four of whom are serving sentences for conspiracy to murder, manslaughter and spying against America.

Obviously, no “stand-down” order came down when our State Department was tasked with protecting this terrorism-sponsoring official. The perceived threat to Ms. Castro’s security apparently came from right-wing Cuban-Americans. Many of them are Republicans, and some are even Tea Partyers. Were they really more of a danger than the vicious, cunning and bloodthirsty terrorists who attacked our consulate in Benghazi, Libya?

Ms. Castro did all her U.S. bashing in New York while standing under a huge poster of Che Guevara, who, during his lifetime, denounced the United States as “the great enemy of mankind” and Americans as “hyenas fit only for extermination.”

While in Philadelphia, Ms. Castro was given a tour of the Liberty Bell, which her father, uncle and godfather, Guevara, planned to blow up in partnership with the Black Liberation Front in 1965. The plot also called for blowing up the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument. The Black Liberation Front hatched the plan with the help of Guevara, whom they visited in Cuba in August 1964. The details were buttoned down during Guevara’s visit to New York in December 1964 while the Cuban official was feted like a rock star by Manhattan’s elite. Only in America.

Humberto Fontova is author of “Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant” (Regnery, 2005).

FONTOVA: The Castro-coddled cop killer 1

The ‘most-wanted terrorist’ mocks U.S. justice from Cuba

By Humberto Fontova in the Washington Times

On May 2, the FBI announced a $1 million reward for “information leading to the apprehension” of Joanne Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, who they named a “most-wanted terrorist.” Chesimard is the first woman to make the FBI’s list. The New Jersey State Police then added another $1 million to the reward pot.

Convicted cop-killer (of a New Jersey state trooper) and “domestic terrorist” Chesimard has been living in Cuba since 1984 as a Castro-coddled celebrity of sorts. And it’s not like bounty hunters can operate freely in a Stalinist country. So the $2 million may be symbolic. As in the U.S. Justice Department putting on a game face and saying: “Look, Castro, we’re serious here.”
In the early 1970s, Chesimard belonged to a Black Panther offshoot known as the Black Liberation Army. “This case is just as important today as it was when it happened 40 years ago,” according to a recent press release from Mike Rinaldi, of the New Jersey State Police. “Chesimard was a member of the Black Liberation Army, a radical left-wing terror group that felt justified killing law enforcement officers. … This group conducted assaults on police stations and murdered police officers.”

More than a mere member of these domestic terrorists, Chesimard was described by former FBI Assistant Director John Miller as “the soul of the Black Liberation Army.”

In 1973, while wanted for multiple crimes from bank robbery to murder, Chesimard and two accomplices were pulled over for a taillight violation on the New Jersey Turnpike. As the troopers were routinely questioning them, Chesimard (who was in the passenger seat) and her pals opened up on the lawmen with semi-automatic pistols (no word on whether these were properly registered.)

As Trooper Werner Foerster grappled with the driver, Chesimard shot him twice — then her gun apparently jammed. As Foerster lay on the ground wounded and helpless, Chesimard grabbed the trooper’s own gun and blasted two shots into his head, much in the manner of her Cuban idols Che Guevara and Raul Castro killing hundreds of their own (always defenseless at the time) “counterrevolutionary” enemies.

“This crime was always considered an act of domestic terrorism,” stresses Mr. Rinaldi. She escaped, but was captured in 1977, convicted of murder and sentenced to life plus 33 years. Then in 1979 she escaped from prison — and with some professional help, probably by Cuban or Cuban-trained terrorists. “Two men smuggled into the prison, took guards hostages and broke her out,” explained John Miller to CBS News.

Chesimard’s 1979 escape from prison was well-planned, Mr. Rinaldi explained. “Armed domestic terrorists gained entry into the facility, neutralized the guards, broke her free, and turned her over to a nearby getaway team.” “In 1984, they smuggled her to Mexico. Using a network of Cuban intelligence officers who worked with American radical groups, they got her into Cuba,” adds Mr. Miller. Since then, according to New Jersey State Police Col. Rick Fuentes, Chesimard “flaunts her freedom. … To this day, from her safe haven in Cuba, Chesimard has been given a pulpit (by Castro) to preach and profess, stirring supporters and groups to mobilize against the United States by any means necessary. She has been used by the Castro regime to greet foreign delegations visiting Cuba.” “Joanne Chesimard is a domestic terrorist,” declared FBI agent Aaron T. Ford, during a recent news conference. “She absolutely is a threat to America.”

Along with coddling Chesimard, Castro’s fiefdom provides haven for more than 70 other fugitives from U.S. law, including several on the FBI’s most-wanted listed. Cuba harbors convicted cop-killers Michael Finney and Charlie Hill, along with Victor Gerena, responsible for a $7 million heist of a Wells Fargo truck in Connecticut in 1983, as a member of the Puerto Rican terrorist group, Los Macheteros. All requests by U.S. authorities for these criminals’ extradition have been rebuffed, often cheekily by Fidel Castro himself: “They want to portray her as a terrorist, something that was an injustice, a brutality, an infamous lie!” is how he answered a U.S. request for Chesimard on May 3, 2005.

Humberto Fontova is author of “Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant” (Regnery, 2005).

Is Cuba’s Longtime Status as a Terrorist Safe Haven Becoming a Liability? Reply

Washington Times OP/ED: Assata Shakur, Terrorist — The FBI Accurately Labels a Cop-killer

Not a month has passed since the Patriots’ Day bombings in Boston, and the hand-wringers are already mumbling that the FBI made the wrong call when it designated 65-year-old fugitive Assata Shakur, formerly known as Joanne Chesimard, as a terrorist. If words have meanings, of course she is.

That 40 years have passed since her conviction does not dim or erase the impact of her crimes as a member of a radical group known as the Black Liberation Army, which was formed by disgruntled former Black Panther Party members. The Panthers were not radical enough. The liberation army aimed to “take up arms for the liberation and self-determination of black people in the United States.”

Assata Shakur and two others took up arms in a gunfight on the New Jersey Turnpike in May 1973. Prosecutors said she shot New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster twice in the head, using the officer’s own gun, taken from him when her accomplice tackled him. He left a wife and two children, one of whom, Eric, became a state trooper himself.

After a 1977 murder conviction, armed Black Liberation Army members broke her out of prison. She is thought to have spent four years in “safe houses” in the United States before making her way to Cuba, where Fidel Castro granted her asylum. She has remained in touch with family, friends and supporters, safe so far from extradition and justice.

Eric Foerster decries the life of comfort of his father’s killer. The passage of the years has not healed the wound inflicted on his family. “It is a loss that will stay with us forever,” he tells Fox News.

The killer is unrepentant; she revels in her crimes. In an open letter to Pope John Paul II, who was visiting in Havana in 1998, she confessed her “guilt” for supporting revolution: “I advocate self-determination for my people and for all oppressed inside the United States. I advocate an end to capitalist exploitation, the abolition of racist policies, the eradication of sexism, and the elimination of political repression. If that is a crime, then I am totally guilty.”

That’s hardly the only crime of which she is “totally guilty.” She was a member of an organization that employed violence to advance a political cause, which is precisely what terrorists do. Her cause has died — interest in the Black Liberation Army has since dissolved — but Assata Shakur has yet to pay for her crimes. Putting a little pressure on the Cuban government for her extradition, while not likely to succeed, is nevertheless the right thing to do.

To compromise, Castro’s government wouldn’t have to send her out of Cuba. There’s already a cell waiting at Guantanamo Bay.