U.S.-Cuba Relations May Mean Prison for Assata Shakur

U.S.-Cuba Relations May Mean Prison for Assata Shakur

New Jersey state authorities say they hope a new pact between U.S. and Cuba will allow them an opportunity to bring back Joanne Chesimard, widely known as Assata Shakur, to the states to finish serving her sentence for killing a police officer.

Published December 18, 2014

Amid latest changes in U.S. and Cuba's diplomatic relations, New Jersey state authorities are renewing their campaign to track down and bring Joanne Chesimard — widely known as Assata Shakur — to the states to finish serving her sentence after being convicted of killing State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1977. Shakur fled to Cuba in 1984. 

"We continue to work closely with the FBI towards the capture of Joanne Chesimard, a convicted felon and fugitive who escaped from jail in 1979 and remains on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List, as well as New Jersey’s Most Wanted List," State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said, according to NJ.com. "We stand by the reward money and hope that the total of two million dollars will prompt fresh information in the light of the altered relationship." 

The member of the Black Liberation Party was granted asylum by President Fidel Castro when she arrived in the country. Shakur escaped Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey in 1979 with help from other members of the Black Liberation Army.

In 2013, the FBI announced that Shakur was the first woman on its list of most wanted terrorists. The reward for her capture was set at $2 million. 

President Obama addressed the U.S. and President Castro addressed Cuba Tuesday outlining details of a new diplomatic relationship that includes loosening previous travel and economic constraints between the countries that have been in place since the 1960s. 

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(Photo: AP Photo/New Jersey State Police, File)

Written by Natelege Whaley

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