Learn more about Assata

Search Site

We don't Want $1M in Blood Money!


Interviews & Articles from Assata


Assata: An Autobiography Assata Shakur


Buy Hands Off Assata T-Shirts and Buttons

Castro Defends Fugitive Sought by U.S.
May 11, 11:29 PM (ET)
By John Rice

Fidel Castro Supports AssataHAVANA (AP) - President Fidel Castro has rejected calls to hand over a
black militant convicted in 1973 of killing a New Jersey state trooper,
saying she's a victim of racial persecution and not a terrorist, as U.S.
officials declared recently.

"They wanted to portray her as a terrorist, something that was an
injustice, a brutality, an infamous lie," Castro said in a television
address Tuesday night.

While Castro did not identify the woman by name, he was clearly alluding
to Assata Shakur - the former Joanne Chesimard - who was put on a U.S.
government terrorist watch list May 2. On the same day, New Jersey
officials announced a $1 million reward for her capture.

Castro's remarks were his first comment on the new U.S. actions.

A member of the Black Liberation Army, Shakur, 57, was convicted of
killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster as he lay on the
ground. She escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba.

Castro referred to her as a victim of "the fierce repression against the
black movement in the United States" and said she had been "a true
political prisoner."

"They have always been hunting her, searching for her because of the
fact that there was an accident in which a policeman died," Castro said,
reflecting Shakur's assertion that she did not shoot the officer.

Castro said an appeal for her expulsion had been raised with him several
years ago by a woman who was both "a friend of Cuba" and a friend of
former President Clinton.

"I transmitted my opinion to the president of the United States," he
said, though he did not specify who raised the issue nor when she
visited. He made clear the case involved New Jersey.

Castro suggested that the action was meant to divert attention from
Cuba's demand that U.S. officials arrest Luis Posada Carriles, who is
wanted in Venezuela on charges of involvement in blowing up a civilian
Cuban jetliner in 1976, killing 73 people.

His attorney has said that Posada, a former CIA employee, slipped into
the United States and is seeking asylum. Posada denies any role in the
airplane attack.

Castro, in a televised appearence Wednesday that lasted four hours,
stepped up his denunciations of the U.S. government for failure to
arrest Posada.

Castro read summaries of newly released U.S. intelligence documents
linking Posada and other anti-Castro militants to terrorist attacks
beyond the 1976 bombing of a jetliner that killed 73 people.

The Cuban leader previously has called for a massive rally on May 17 in
front of the U.S. Interests Section, or diplomatic mission, to demand
the arrest of Posada.

He dedicated most of Tuesday's remarks to descriptions to numerous
terrorist actions that Cuba alleges Posada and his anti-Castro
associates have committed over the past 35 years.

Castro referred to earlier published suggestions that Posada and
Florida-based exile Orlando Bosch could have been involved in the 1963
assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

"There are strange things, very strange, mixed up here," Castro said.



©2000-2010 The Talking Drum Collective . All Rights Reserved.

the largest pan-african portal in the world. the largest pan-african portal in the world.