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Talks of whether or not to extradite fugitive Assata Shakur from Cuba have reemerged between Cuba and the U.S., according to reports.

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Just this past March, Cuba released an adamant statement that they would make no effort to return Shakur (whose legal name is Joanne Chesimard), to America.

Yet, their newfound willingness to cooperate could be a result of President Obama‘s recent moves to repair the once tattered relationship between Cuba and the U.S.

Last weekend, Obama met with Cuba’s President Raul Castro, and the media captured the two warmly shaking hands and talking politics. The President has also suggested removing the country from the international list of states that are believed to be sponsors of worldwide terrorism. In an interview with the Associated PressPresident Obama was quoted as saying:

“Cuba has agreed to enter into a law enforcement dialogue with the United States that will include discussions with the aim of resolving outstanding fugitive cases.

“We believe that the strong US interest in the return of these fugitives will be best served by entering into this dialogue with Cuba.”

Following her conviction for the  execution-style death of trooper Werner Foerster on a New Jersey highway in 1973, Shakur escaped from prison and fled to Cuba, where she has lived since 1984. She’s maintained her innocence due to a lack of physical evidence. But her legacy as a Black Panther has been tainted by a decades-long attempt to get her back to America and finish her original jail sentence.

In 2013, she became the first woman included on the FBI’s infamous ten Most Wanted List.


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Was The Hunt For Assata Shakur The Real Reason For U.S.-Cuba Deal?  was originally published on