Gov. Chris Christie wants cop killer Assata Shakur to return from Cuba

Part of the controversy over easing US-Cuba relations is whether Cuba should be taken off the US State Sponsors of Terrorism list, but the case of Assata Shakur, who was convicted of killing a police officer in New Jersey five decades ago, may prove to put this controversy to the test. SEE ALSO: Tupak Shakur’s aunt could be extradited from Cuba New Jersey Governor Chris Christy chimed in this weekend on the matter, writing a letter to President Barack Obama demanding Cuba return Shakur, whose real name is Joanne Chesimard and is a fugitive who escaped from prison after killing a New Jersey state trooper. In addition to asking she be returned to the United States, Governor Christie came out publicaly for the first time in denouncing the President’s decision to establish ties again with Cuba. Chris Christie asks Obama for Assata Shakur to return from Cuba “Despite my profound disagreement with this decision, I believe there is an opportunity for Cuba and its government to show the American people it is serious about change,” Christie wrote to Obama, according to a copy of the letter Christie’s office provided. “If, as you assert, Cuba is serious about embracing democratic principles then this action would be an essential first step.” Chesimard, who is now known as Shakur, is a member of militant group the Black Liberation Army, and she has been on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list with a $1 million for information that leads to her capture. The government believes she currently lives in Cuba after receiving asylum there. Christie, who could be running for president in 2016 under a Republican ticket,  expressed he’s surprised that the capture and extradition of Shakur wasn’t already a part of the negotiations between US and Cuba before the re-establishing of relations was made public. “The family of her victims, like so many of those who have, and continue to suffer under the Castro regime, deserve this basic decency before further steps toward Cuba are taken by this government,” Christie wrote. Some defend Assata Shakur Despite this, some activists groups are asking that Shakur be liberated. Change.org, published the following call to action in a petition asking for her liberation “…Evidence proved Shakur was targeted and framed by the covert and illegal FBI COINTELPRO program. The baby of J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO was designed to monitor, infiltrate and destroy social justice movements seen as a threat to national security, including civil rights and antiwar groups, the Black Power movement and the Young Lords. Some of the stated goals of the program in an FBI memo were to “prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups,” to “Prevent the RISE OF A ‘MESSIAH’ who could unify…the militant black nationalist movement,” to “Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining RESPECTABILITY, by discrediting them to…both the responsible community and to liberals who have vestiges of sympathy…,” and to “prevent the long-range GROWTH of militant black organizations, especially among youth.” Shakur, who is the aunt of deceased rap star Tupac Shakur, was convicted in the 1973 killing. Many leaders in New Jersey have since been asking for her return after President Obama announced that the US would re-establishing relations with Cuba. Even though Obama accomplished this, the question remains whether Congress will vote to end the economic embargo against the island nation and whether Cuba will be taken off the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Cuba unlikely to budge However, Cuba made it clear on Monday that it will continue to give asylum to certain fugitives if it sees it as “legitimately” necessary. Some experts see this as a clear sign that Raul Castro’s communist government has no intention of extraditing America’s most-wanted woman, despite improved relations. “We’ve explained to the U.S. government in the past that there are some people living in Cuba to whom Cuba has legitimately granted political asylum,” said Josefina Vidal, Cuba’s head of North American affairs. She added, “There’s no extradition treaty in effect between Cuba and the U.S.” SEE ALSO: 8 great stories that can help you understand what’s going on in Cuba Since March of 1982, Cuba has been on the US State Department State Sponsors of Terrorism list, which also includes, Iran, Sudan and Syria.  The post Gov. Chris Christie wants cop killer Assata Shakur to return from Cuba appeared first on Voxxi.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been asking for the return of Assata Shakur from Cuba. (Shutterstock)

Part of the controversy over easing US-Cuba relations is whether Cuba should be taken off the US State Sponsors of Terrorism list, but the case of Assata Shakur, who was convicted of killing a police officer in New Jersey five decades ago, may prove to put this controversy to the test.

SEE ALSO: Tupak Shakur’s aunt could be extradited from Cuba

New Jersey Governor Chris Christy chimed in this weekend on the matter, writing a letter to President Barack Obama demanding Cuba return Shakur, whose real name is Joanne Chesimard and is a fugitive who escaped from prison after killing a New Jersey state trooper. In addition to asking she be returned to the United States, Governor Christie came out publicaly for the first time in denouncing the President’s decision to establish ties again with Cuba.

Chris Christie asks Obama for Assata Shakur to return from Cuba

“Despite my profound disagreement with this decision, I believe there is an opportunity for Cuba and its government to show the American people it is serious about change,” Christie wrote to Obama, according to a copy of the letter Christie’s office provided. “If, as you assert, Cuba is serious about embracing democratic principles then this action would be an essential first step.”

Chesimard, who is now known as Shakur, is a member of militant group the Black Liberation Army, and she has been on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list with a $1 million for information that leads to her capture. The government believes she currently lives in Cuba after receiving asylum there.

Christie, who could be running for president in 2016 under a Republican ticket,  expressed he’s surprised that the capture and extradition of Shakur wasn’t already a part of the negotiations between US and Cuba before the re-establishing of relations was made public.

“The family of her victims, like so many of those who have, and continue to suffer under the Castro regime, deserve this basic decency before further steps toward Cuba are taken by this government,” Christie wrote.

Joanne Chesimard, a.k.a. Assata Shakur, was convicted of murder in 1977.
Tupac Shakur’s godmother has been placed on the FBI’s Most-Wanted Terrorists list. (New Jersey State Police / Facebook)

Some defend Assata Shakur

Despite this, some activists groups are asking that Shakur be liberated. Change.org, published the following call to action in a petition asking for her liberation

“…Evidence proved Shakur was targeted and framed by the covert and illegal FBI COINTELPRO program. The baby of J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO was designed to monitor, infiltrate and destroy social justice movements seen as a threat to national security, including civil rights and antiwar groups, the Black Power movement and the Young Lords. Some of the stated goals of the program in an FBI memo were to “prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups,” to “Prevent the RISE OF A ‘MESSIAH’ who could unify…the militant black nationalist movement,” to “Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining RESPECTABILITY, by discrediting them to…both the responsible community and to liberals who have vestiges of sympathy…,” and to “prevent the long-range GROWTH of militant black organizations, especially among youth.”

Shakur, who is the aunt of deceased rap star Tupac Shakur, was convicted in the 1973 killing. Many leaders in New Jersey have since been asking for her return after President Obama announced that the US would re-establishing relations with Cuba. Even though Obama accomplished this, the question remains whether Congress will vote to end the economic embargo against the island nation and whether Cuba will be taken off the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.

Cuba unlikely to budge

However, Cuba made it clear on Monday that it will continue to give asylum to certain fugitives if it sees it as “legitimately” necessary. Some experts see this as a clear sign that Raul Castro’s communist government has no intention of extraditing America’s most-wanted woman, despite improved relations.

“We’ve explained to the U.S. government in the past that there are some people living in Cuba to whom Cuba has legitimately granted political asylum,” said Josefina Vidal, Cuba’s head of North American affairs.

She added, “There’s no extradition treaty in effect between Cuba and the U.S.”

SEE ALSO: 8 great stories that can help you understand what’s going on in Cuba

Since March of 1982, Cuba has been on the US State Department State Sponsors of Terrorism list, which also includes, Iran, Sudan and Syria.

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The post Gov. Chris Christie wants cop killer Assata Shakur to return from Cuba appeared first on Voxxi.