Washington Removes Cuba From the List of Countries That ’Do Not Cooperate’ With Its Efforts Against Terrorism

This is not the List of Countries Sponsoring Terrorism, but rather a smaller inventory that includes Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Syria.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken / EFE

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 15 May 2024 — On Wednesday, the United States Department of State removed Cuba from the list of countries “that do not fully cooperate with Washington’s anti-terrorist efforts.” This is not the List of Countries Sponsoring Terrorism, on which the Island remains despite the regime’s international protests, but rather another smaller inventory, as explained in an official document to which Martí Noticias had access.

“On May 15, the US Secretary of State determined and certified, under Section 40A of the Arms Export Control Act, that four countries – North Korea, Iran, Syria and Venezuela – were not fully cooperating with the anti-terrorist efforts of the United States in the calendar year 2023,” Martí quotes the document, which does not include the Island.

For that year, therefore, Cuba’s status changed compared to 2022, when it was in this list of countries. To date, the Island had remained on the list – which prohibits the United States from exporting weapons or offering defense services and articles to the countries that are included – for three consecutive years.

Given this new decision, the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez, stated this Wednesday on the social network X: “The US the State Department has just admitted what is known to everyone: that Cuba collaborates fully with efforts against terrorism,” in reference to the State Department’s action.

 The regime’s campaign to pressure Washington to remove Cuba’s name from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism has been gaining intensity for months

At the same time, Rodríguez insisted on demanding that the US Government remove Cuba from “the arbitrary list with which it designates countries that supposedly sponsor terrorism” and stop “applying the coercive economic measures that accompany this unjust designation.”

“All political manipulation of the issue should cease and our arbitrary and unjust inclusion on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism should end,” he added.

The regime’s campaign to pressure Washington to remove Cuba’s name from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism – which involves more serious measures – has been gaining intensity for months. The announcement has raised the suspicions of some US members of congress of Cuban origin who, like María Elvira Salazar, believe that it is “a new sign that the Biden Administration is paving the way to remove Cuba from the list.”

“How is it possible that a dictatorship that finances terrorism in Latin America, supports Hamas and shelters international terrorists in its territory now ’cooperates’ with the United States on antiterrorism? Once again the White House is guilty of innocence or its condescension with the Castro/Díaz-Canel regime is quite evident,” said Salazar, quoted by América TeVé.

Last April, in a meeting with senior Washington officials, Cuban Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossío once again protested Cuba’s appearance among these countries. Weeks before, in February, at a meeting between representatives of the United States and Cuba to improve police and judicial coordination channels between both countries, the Island delivered to the White House its own list of “terrorists” – the majority residing in the United States — and asked for their cooperation.

For its part, the Cuban exile in the United States has responded to the regime’s campaign. Last March, a group of Republican members of Congress of Cuban origin asked the President of the United States, Joe Biden, to keep Cuba on the list of State sponsors of terrorism, a category that entails sanctions for the Island. The request occurred within the framework of a trip to Cuba by two members of Congress from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party who met with Díaz-Canel.

The president himself has demanded on multiple occasions that the Government be removed from the list

The president himself has demanded on multiple occasions that Cuba be removed from the list, which, he insists, represents great economic losses for the Island. The most recent allusion was made in an interview with the Spanish journalist Ignacio Ramonet, in which he said that at the beginning of 2020, “when there were around eight or ten days left for Trump to leave the White House,” the United States included Cuba on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. “And then, suddenly, all the banking agencies and all the financial institutions stopped giving us credit.”

With regards to why the current US Administration has maintained sanctions on the Island, the president argued that the US prioritizes “the interests of a minority, which is the Cuban-American mafia.”


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