Despite Warming Relations, Cuba Will Not Hand Over Assata Shakur

Despite the fact that America and Cuba have now given each other a pound and let bygones be bygones, Cuba has no plans of extraditing Assata Shakur.

In 1979, Jamaica, Queens born Shakur escaped prison after being convicted of killing a New Jersey State Trooper. Shakur, 26 at the time, fled the country and was granted asylum by former Cuban President Fidel Castro. Josefina Vidal, head of Cuba’s North American Affairs told the Associated Press the country has no plans of giving Shakur up despite warming relations between the two nations who were once at odds for nearly half a century.

“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 said. “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.,” she added.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wrote a passionate letter to the White House that has since been made public demanding Shakur–the godmother to rapper Tupac Shakur and the first woman to be added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List–be extradited back to the U.S. to serve out her life sentence. Christie, not pleased with Vidal’s statements, in a live interview on Monday said “These thugs in Cuba have given her political asylum for 30 years. It’s unacceptable.”

Vidal reminded Christie that the U.S. has also given asylum to some of Cuba’s most wanted criminals.

“We’ve reminded the U.S. government that in its country they’ve given shelter to dozens and dozens of Cuban citizens,” she said. “Some of them accused of horrible crimes, some accused of terrorism, murder and kidnapping, and in every case, the U.S. government has decided to welcome them

Kind of sucks when the shoe is on the other foot, doesn’t it Christie?