As agents of the U.S. imperialist state have already made clear, the steps proposed by the Obama administration to “normalize” diplomatic relations with Cuba will be leveraged to create a new opportunity to apprehend Assata Shakur.
New Jersey Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes said in a statement today that “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”.
FBI Agent Aaron Ford also reiterated today that “As long as there is an active warrant for [Assata Shakur], the FBI will continue to pursue justice, regardless of how long it takes, and are hopeful any changes in relations between the United States and Cuba, will assist us with her apprehension and return”
Nevertheless, whether the Cuban government would agree to extradite Assata is unknown. There are currently dozens of nations across the globe that maintain diplomatic relations with the U.S. yet do not have any formal extradition treaties set up. Thus, normalized diplomatic relations do not necessarily guarantee that Cuba will extradite Assata or anyone living in political asylum in Cuba. However, given that Assata is listed on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list, the U.S. could be planning on undertaking exhaustive and unprecedented measures to coerce Cuba into extraditing her.
Overall, there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding what will happen to Assata. As revolutionaries and anti-imperialists, we should honor Assata’s legacy by organizing and renewing calls to demand her freedom and the freedom of all political prisoners.