As if the U.S. government didn’t hear Cuba loud and clear in December, a Cuban official recently told Yahoo News that Cuba has absolutely no intentions of returning Assata Shakur to the U.S. to serve out her prison sentence for the murder of a New Jersey state trooper in 1973, given that Fidel Castro granted her political asylum in 1984.
“I can say it is off the table,” Gustavo Machin, the deputy director for American affairs at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, replied when asked if Shakur, whose birth name is Joanne Chesimard, would be returned to New Jersey now that Cuba and the U.S. are restoring diplomatic relations.
Not only is Shakur’s extradition off the table, Machin explained, but the Cuban official went so far as to question the fairness and validity of Shakur’s 1977 criminal trial. “There are very serious doubts about that case,” said Machin. “We consider that a politically motivated case against that lady.”
Ever since President Barack Obama announced that he was thawing the icy relations between the U.S. and Cuba, top New Jersey officials, including Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Bob Menendez, have called on Cuba to extradite Shakur to the U.S. to serve out her sentence.
Shakur was one of the most visible members of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army in the 1960s and 1970s—black nationalist groups that fought for the civil rights of African Americans.
Read more at Yahoo News.