President Obama recently had a press conference, where he informed the nation that America restored its diplomatic relations with Cuba. Obama also stated, that Americans would now be able to travel to Cuba and vice versa, business and trading relations were restored in agriculture, mechanics, and etc.
Following the press conference, an online petition was drawned up addressed to President Obama to grant political asylum to Assata Shakur, who has been exiled in Cuba since 1984. Shakur who is a former Black Panther activist, was pulled over by New Jersey State police officers, shot twice and accused of killing an officer, which Asatta is saying was a set up because of her political activist ties.
Shakur was sentenced to prison and escaped due to political punishments, government persecution, racism, violence; which Assata said she could not endure anymore. Assata Shakur and her lawyers accused the government of trying to criminalize her, because of her activities and affiliations with the Black Panthers.
Since her escape from prison, Assata Shakur has been exiled and living in Cuba since 1984. A bounty was placed on Assata Shakur by government officials for $2 million dollars, for her return back into the US.
With the restoration of America and Cuba's political relations, the FBI who has Assata Shakur on their most wanted list, was hoping to extradite Shakur. But on Monday, according to the 'Associated Press' Cuba’s head of North American affairs, Josefina Vidal, declared a statement to the President that Cuba granted Assata Shakur political asylum. In the statement, Vidal expressed the country's right to do so.
“Every nation has sovereign and legitimate rights to grant political asylum to people it considers to have been persecuted. ... That’s a legitimate right,” Vidal told AP
Vidal also expressed, how there are no form of treaties between Cuba and America when it comes to extraditing people who have been exiled in Cuba. And how Cuba already granted certain people political asylum in their country.
“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.
“There’s no extradition treaty in effect between Cuba and the U.S.,” confirmed Vidal.
Assata Shakur was granted political asylum in Cuba back when Fidel Castro was the president.
Upon news of Assata Shakur's political asylum, New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie issued a letter expressing his disappointments and how Shakur should be brought back to the US to face her charges. He called for President Obama to extradite Shakur.
Assata Shakur has not released any statements about her asylum. While in Cuba, Assata Shakur continued her political activism work. Assata is also the godmother of Tupac Shakur.