US State Department returns Cuba to list of state sponsors of terrorism

Cheryl Sanders
January 13, 2021

The Trump administration put Cuba back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism on Monday, reversing an Obama-era decision and making it harder for President-elect Joe Biden to quickly revive diplomatic ties with Havana.

Just nine days before Republican President Donald Trump leaves office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that Cuba was being listed for "repeatedly providing support for acts of global terrorism" by harbouring usa fugitives and Colombian rebel leaders.

"With this act, we will hold the Cuban government accountable once again and send a clear message that the Castro regime must stop supporting worldwide terrorism and sabotaging American justice", Pompeo said in a statement.

"The United States will continue to support the Cuban people in their desire for a democratic government and respect for human rights, including freedom of religion, expression and association", he said in a statement.

"I am outraged that Donald Trump is designating Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism less than a week after he incited a domestic terror attack on the U.S. Capitol", he said in a statement.

According to Khatibzadeh, the claim that Cuba has been cooperating with Venezuela in the field of terrorism is a baseless accusation made by the United States, adding that the U.S. regime continues its unilateral measures against other nations in the last days of Trump's administration.

Also on Monday, the US State Department moved to declare Yemen's Houthi rebels as a "terrorist organization".

Saeed Khatibzadeh strongly condemned the USA act to put Cuba on the list of the state sponsor of terrorism and emphasized the solidarity of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the Cuban government and people against the global arrogance.

Under President Donald Trump, the USA labeled Cuba part of a "Troika of Tyranny" with Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Pompeo said that the latest action subjects Cuba to sanctions that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with Cuba, it restricts United States foreign aid, prohibits defense exports and sales and imposes certain controls on exports of dual use items.

China criticized the move Tuesday, urging the improve relations with Cuba.

Cuba has said it will not hand them over due to its role mediating between the ELN and government.

For example, the Cuban regime has refused to return Joanne Chesimard, on the FBI's "most wanted terrorists" list for executing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973; Ishmael LaBeet, convicted of killing eight people in the US Virgin Islands in 1972; Charles Lee Hill, charged with killing New Mexico state policeman Robert Rosenbloom in 1971; and others.

But he doubted the move would ultimately change Cuba's policies, including its staunch support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whom the Trump administration has sought to topple. Sudan was recently removed as part of its agreement to normalize ties with Israel.

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