- It can potentially complicate the chances that Joe Biden will quickly resume rapprochement with Havana.
- Secretary Pompeo has also accused Cuba of having been involved "in a range of malign behavior across the region."
- “We condemn the cynical and hypocritical qualification of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, announced by the United States,” Cuba's FM tweeted.
The Administration of the outgoing US president, Donald Trump, once again included Cuba on its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism Monday. Cuba had been taken off the list in 2015 by the Obama administration. The decision was made just nine days before President Trump leaves the White House.
It can potentially complicate the chances that Joe Biden will quickly resume rapprochement with Havana.
“The State Department has designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism for repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in the statement.
Pompeo: Cuba “Feeding and Providing Medical Attention to Murderers”
In addition, Secretary Pompeo added that:
“The Trump Administration has been focused from the start on denying the Castro regime the resources it uses to oppress its people at home, and countering its malign interference in Venezuela and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.”
Secretary Pompeo has accused the Cuban government of having “fed, housed, and provided medical care for murderers, bombmakers, and hijackers, while many Cubans go hungry, homeless, and without basic medicine.”
Specifically, it has alluded to Havana’s refusal to extradite ten guerrilla leaders from the National Liberation Army (ELN), who traveled to the island to hold negotiations with the Colombian government. The group claimed responsibility in an attack against a police school in Bogotá that caused 22 deaths and more than 87 injuries.
“Cuba also harbors several U.S. fugitives from justice wanted on or convicted of charges of political violence, many of whom have resided in Cuba for decades,” added the Secretary of State. He noted that the island returned to the list “after having broken its commitment to stop supporting terrorism.”
The Cuban Foreign Ministry denounced the “political opportunism” of the new US sanctions.
Barriers to Trade and More Sanctions
Secretary Pompeo has also accused Cuba of having been involved “in a range of malign behavior across the region.”
Specifically, he alleges that “the Cuban intelligence and security apparatus has infiltrated Venezuela’s security and military forces,” and is “assisting Nicholas (sic.) Maduro to maintain his stranglehold over his people while allowing terrorist organizations to operate.”
Secretary Pompeo referred to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (FARC) and the ELN.
The inclusion of a country on the terrorism black list implies obstacles to trade and more sanctions. However, Cuba already weighs all those restrictions due to the ongoing commercial and financial embargo.
A “Hypocritical and Cynical” Decision
For the Cuban government, the decision of the Trump Administration is “hypocritical and cynical,” according to Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez.
“We condemn the cynical and hypocritical qualification of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, announced by the United States,” he tweeted.