Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on Wednesday ripped President Obama's decision to swap prisoners with Cuba as having "vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government."
"Trading Mr. [Alan] Gross for three convicted criminals sets an extremely dangerous precedent," Menendez, the outgoing head of the foreign relations committee, said in a statement. "It invites dictatorial and rogue regimes to use Americans serving overseas as bargaining chips."
The administration announced early Wednesday it had swapped three Cuban spies for Gross, a contractor who had been jailed for five years in Cuba. The deal is part of the administration's broader move to thaw relations between the two countries.