US State Dept. Acknowledges Lie but Leaves Cuba on Sponsors of Terrorism List

By Randy Alonso Falcón on May 15, 2024

In a tacit acknowledgement that the lie is unsustainable, the U.S. State Department announced today that Cuba is not included in its 2023 report on countries that do not fully cooperate in the fight against terrorism.

A document sent to members of Congress, reviewed by the media, states that “on May 15, the U.S. 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 U.S. counterterrorism efforts in calendar year 2023”.

The text adds that the State Department has determined that the circumstances for the certification of Cuba as a Not Fully Cooperating Country (NFCC) have changed from 2022 to 2023 and that, therefore, the Foreign Ministry does not designate the island as such for calendar year 2023, according to Section 40A of the Arms Export Control Act.

However, the entity itself argues that its report is not sufficient to remove Cuba from the spurious and politicized List of countries sponsoring terrorism, arguing that this designation is subject to “the law and the criteria established by Congress.”

Despite the fact that Biden administration officials are well aware of Cuba’s efforts in the fight against terrorism and for peace in our region and that profitable bilateral meetings have been held in the area of law enforcement, the White House has done nothing to remove Cuba from this List, which it should never have been on in the first place.

According to US scholar William LeoGrande, “There is no shortage of steps Biden could take to improve relations. Many of the sanctions imposed by Trump remain in place, crippling the Cuban economy, impoverishing Cuban families and exacerbating the migration crisis. The most obvious first step is to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of international terrorism (SSOT), a designation that has no factual or legal basis, but makes it extremely difficult for Cuba to engage in routine international financial transactions.”

The decision in this regard, taken by the Trump administration in January 2021, a few days before his term expired, has meant an even greater turn of the screw in the application of the blockade against Cuba, especially in the financial-banking sphere.

Previously, in May 2020, the State Department headed by Mike Pompeo had categorized Cuba as a nation that did not cooperate with efforts against terrorism; a designation that has been modified today.

Numerous countries around the world, including the Government of Colombia – whose former president was one of the pretexts for Cuba’s inclusion in this list – have been requesting for some time now that Washington withdraw the designation of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and also that it lift the blockade against the Caribbean nation.

This has also been done by numerous personalities and social coalitions in the United States itself.

Barack Obama’s administration had removed Cuba from the politicized list in April 2015, shortly after the announcement of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Source: Cubadebate, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English