U.S. Wants to Extradite from Cuba FBI’s Most Wanted*
A test of the so-called normalization of Cuba-U.S. relations which will indicate if Cuba decides to throw away all that it has stood for, and what the U.S. is really up to.
“Assata leads us all to understand more about the society we live in. Clearly, it was the racism riddling every aspect of the early life of this sensitive, intellectually gifted, and life-passionate child, as she struggled to establish her own identity, that led her to seek solutions to the catastrophic impact of racism and economic oppression on all people of color in the United States. It is racist America that provides the context for the making of this Black revolutionary.” – Lennox S. Hinds
Known then as Angela Davis as a member of the Black Panthers, her trial was jury-rigged. That conviction followed many other fabricated charges for which she had been arrested, tried and acquitted, charges including, kidnapping, bank robberies and murder. In 1973 on the New Jersey Turnpike, the police ambushed and shot her 3 times, leaving her for dead and killed her friend, Zayd.
An Afro-American activist was granted sylum in Cuba after escaping a U.S. prison where she was condemned to a life sentence for allegedly killing a policeman.
Shortly after Washington announced the normalization of relations with Cuba, state authorities in New Jersey expressed on Wednesday their hopes to extradite an Afro-american activist living as a refugee in Cuba, and charged more than 40 years ago for allegedly killing a U.S. policeman.
“We view any changes in relations with Cuba as an opportunity to bring her back to the United States to finish her sentence for the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper in 1973,” State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said in a statement.
This statement came just after a U.S. citizen suspected of spying on Cuba was released.
Joanne Chesimard, a Queens-born activist who belonged to the Black Liberation Army, escaped prison two years after being convicted of the alleged murder of state trooper Werner Foerster in 1977 during a gunfight – a crime she has always denied.
In the mid-1980s, Cuban former President Fidel Castro granted her asylum on the island, when she changed her name to Assata Shakur.
She is also the godmother of late rapper Tupac (2Pac) Amaru Shakur.
In 2005, the FBI named Cheismard, now about 70 years-old, a “domestic terrorist” and offered a US$1 million reward for her capture, saying that her crime was rooted in anti-government ideology. Eight years later, the same agency raised the reward to US$2 million and named her on its “most wanted terrorists” list.
In the mean time, Cheismard’s cause became famous as she had claimed her innoncence and was allegedly mistreated in the U.S. prison. The rapper Common released “A Song for Assata” in 2000.