What Cuba Didn't Have to Do: Christie Wants Tupac's Godmother Extradited
Cuban officials can’t figure out what’s up with Gov. Chris Christie’s (R-N.J.) opposition to re-opening relations between their nation and his, and Christie can’t imagine why President Obama ever considered doing a deal with Cuba without demanding more in return.
Well, maybe he can.
“It is typical of this president, unfortunately, in negotiations. The Iranian nuclear deals extended six months at a time over and over and over again while they continue to move toward a nuclear capability,” Christie told New Jersey Public Television.
“Now we normalize relations with Cuba without getting anything in return? We have a hostage exchange and that’s what we get in return?” he added.
Ever the shrewd negotiator, and possible GOP presidential primary candidate, Christie knows what he would have wanted from Cuba if he was in the Oval Office.
“We for 50 years have demanded that they have free elections, that they open the Internet, that they allow political prisoners to be released,” Christie said. “None of those things happened."
But that is not all. For Gov. Christie, this is more than an unwillingness to put aside Cold War animosity.
Christie also wants the late rapper Tupac Shakur’s godmother and aunt.
That's right. Christie wants Tupac Shakur’s godmother, Joanne Chesimard, who goes by the name Assata Shakur.
She is more than the living ancestor of an American music industry icon. Ms. Shakur is also living in political asylum in Cuba.
Shakur broke out of prison and fled to Cuba after being convicted of murdering New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.
Christie wants her back. U.S. officials do, too; she's on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list. They have been trying to get Shakur extradited for decades to no avail.
Christie said Obama must have known about that, and should have made Shakur’s return to the United States part of his grand bargain with the Castro regime.
“Joanne Chesimard, a cold-blooded cop-killer, convicted by a jury of her peers, in what is without question the fairest and most just criminal justice system in the world – certainly much more just than anything that’s happened in Cuba under the Castro brothers – she is now, according to an official of the Cuban government, persecuted,” Christie said.
A representative of the Cuban government, Josefina Vidal, confirmed for the Associated Press that the Obama administration did not ask for the return of the convicted cop killer. Vidal also said she doesn’t understand why Christie is pressing so hard for the extradition.
Governors Bobby Jindal (R) of Louisiana and Rick Scott (R) of Florida have also trashed Obama’s executive action regarding Cuba.
Jindal said he was “happy” that Alan Gross — a contractor from the U.S. whose release was at the center of the agreement — was freed.
However, like Christie, Jindal doesn’t think the U.S. got enough because Obama didn’t ask or demand enough.
“This is just one more sign that shows the president has no strategy for leading on an international stage. His policy of appeasement toward Cuba and other threats is endangering national security and the American people,” Jindal said in a written statement.