Cuba, US Discuss Possible Prisoner Swap - NBC Connecticut
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Cuba, US Discuss Possible Prisoner Swap

The State Department didn’t discuss specifics

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    An undated file image of Joanne Chesimard, who escaped a New Jersey prison to Cuba in 1979 where she was serving a life sentence. Her name is believed to be among a list of people floated by U.S. and Cuban officials, who are discussing a possible prisoner swap.

    Cuba and the United States are discussing a possible exchange of prisoners, according to U.S. officials who spoke to NBC News. 

    The discussions are in the early stages, and are part of an effort by the two countries toward normalizing their diplomatic relations. The State Department didn’t discuss specifics. 

    Ana Montes, who was convicted of spying for the Cuban government while working for the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency was one of the names floated by Cuban leaders, the officials said. Montes, who became the top Cuban analyst and passed on classified information to Cuban handlers, was sentenced to 25 years and is to be released in 2023.

    U.S. officials say they’re interested in getting back Americans who sought refuge in Cuba from U.S. persecution, including Joanne Chesimard, who escaped a New Jersey prison in 1979, where she was serving a life sentence for killing a state trooper by shooting him with his own gun at a traffic stop.