New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will probably be disappointed when his state’s most infamous cop killer is not extradited from Cuba. Since the Obama Administration announced its intentions last month to normalize relations with the “workers’ paradise” of the Caribbean, Governor Christie has asked the administration to put pressure on Cuba to extradite Joanne Chesimard, also known by her African nom de guerre Assata Shakur, a black militant convicted of murdering state trooper Werner Foerster. She escaped from prison in 1979 and later fled to Cuba where she has been sheltered ever since.
The Obama Administration seems to be paying lip service to the Chesimard issue, claiming that “the return of fugitives is one of the issues on the U.S-Cuban agenda,” according to a USA Today article from David Jackson. Frankly, their reassurances sound like more of this administration’s empty promises. The State Department should demand that Chesimard be extradited as a precondition of diplomatic negotiations. I say this as someone who believes that our “talk to the hand” foreign policy toward Cuba needs to change. We should absolutely open up to Cuba, but we can’t have relations with them while they harbor miscreants like Chesimard.
Yet I won’t hold my breath waiting for President Obama to press his advantage to bring a cop killer to justice. After all, if Obama had an older sister she’d look like Assata Shakur, which tells me that Obama will side with her by default. He doesn’t have all the facts, nor does he ever, but he knows that the police acted stupidly…or something.
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