*Donald Trump is playing some serious politics at the expense of Joanne Chesimard, otherwise known as Assata Shakur, the late Tupac Shakur’s Godmother.
On Friday, Tupac’s birthday, Trump demanded that Cuba return Chesimard to the US so she can be re-imprisoned after being convicted of killing a New Jersey cop.
During a speech in Miami to announce changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba, Trump said the return of Chesimard and other fugitives was one of several steps the Cuban government needed to take before the longstanding embargo could be lifted.
“To the Cuban government, I say, put an end to the abuse of dissidents, release the political prisoners, stop jailing innocent people, open yourselves to political and economic freedoms, return the fugitives from American justice, including the return of the cop killer Joanne Chesimard,” Trump said.
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Chesimard, who was a member of the Black Liberation Army, had been serving a life sentence in prison for the 1973 murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster when she escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to the communist island nation.
She was granted political asylum by then Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Chesimard was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list in 2013 — a first for a woman.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and several other elected officials and law enforcement leaders had been pressing the White House to make Chesimard’s return a priority.
Trump, during the speech, announced new restrictions on travel and other business dealings with Cuba, reversing steps taken by President Obama to ease relations.
Those in favor of normalized U.S. relations with Cuba, along with supporters of Shakur, didn’t take Trump’s policy changes and remarks lightly.
Here’s how some of them responded on Twitter.
Trump name checks Assata Shakur (calls her by her former name, Joanne Chesimard) as a dog whistle to his people. #TrumpingCuba
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) June 16, 2017
Assata Shakur’s “debt” to American society was paid by her ancestors & later when she was shot, beaten, framed & locked in men’s prison. https://t.co/cTUVd1B0jD
— Ferrari Sheppard (@stopbeingfamous) June 16, 2017
“Nobody has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them”
— ibrahim hirsi (@ibrahim_hirsi19) June 13, 2017
— Haki Kweli Shakur (@Haki_k_Shakur) April 24, 2017