The United States announced on Monday, nine days after President Donald Trump’s departure from power, that put Cuba back on the blacklist of “State sponsors of terrorism”, of which had been withdrawn by Barack Obama in 2015.
“With this measure, we will once again hold the government of Cuba responsible and we will send a clear message: the Castro regime must end its support for the international terrorism and the subversion of American justice, “said the head of American diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, evoking the late Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl, leaders of the 1959 revolution.
“For decades, the Cuban government has fed, housed and provided medical attention to murderers, bomb makers and kidnappers, while many Cubans go hungry, are left homeless and do not have basic medicines, “he added in a statement.
Pompeo highlighted the “malignant interference” of Cuba In Venezuela and in other Latin American countries. He also pointed to Havana’s “support” for the Colombian guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN), which the United States considers a foreign terrorist organization, as well as dissidents from the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
In addition, he accused Cuba of hosting several American fugitives from justice since the 1970s, such as Joanne Chesimard, Ishmael LaBeet y Charles Lee Hill, among others.
This designation has a strong economic impact for the communist island, as it restricts trade and foreign aid from the United States and exposes foreign investors to prosecution by the United States.
The future government of Joe Biden, who will take office on January 20, could eliminate Cuba from this list, but first Antony Blinken, a candidate to succeed Pompeo, would have to carry out a formal review, which means that the measure may be in force. for months.
In 2015, within the framework of its policy of rapprochement with Cuba, Obama removed the Caribbean country from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, declaring that the half-century efforts of the United States to isolate the communist island they had been a failure.
But Trump reversed Washington’s rapprochement with Havana as soon as he took office in 2017, tightening the embargo in force since 1962 and imposing a battery of sanctions on his ally Venezuela, which earned him electoral support from the crucial state of Florida.
Cuba denounces “political opportunism”
Cuba calified as an act of “political opportunism” the latest action by the United States government: to include the island again in the list of countries “sponsors of terrorism,” according to a message issued on Monday by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez.
“The political opportunism of this action is recognized by anyone who has an honest concern about the scourge of terrorism and its victims,” Rodríguez said in a message on Twitter, in which he condemned “the hypocritical and cynical qualification of #Cuba as a State sponsor of terrorism “. (With information from AFP)