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US Designates Cuba The State Sponsor of Terrorism


US State Secretary Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are announcing sanctions on the state sponsors of terrorism in 2020. (AFP)

On Monday, the US State Department put Cuba back on the list of the terrorism sponsors after its failed to stop supporting global terror groups that was a condition for its removal by the Obama administration in 2015.

The US Department of State designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism for repeatedly supporting acts of international terrorism by granting safe haven to terrorists.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Twitter that "Cuba's continued support for terrorism in the Western Hemisphere must stop."

The United States is returning Cuba to the list of state sponsors of terrorism to hold the Castro regime accountable for its malicious behavior, Mr. Pompeo stressed.

The State Department said in a statement that the Trump administration has focused from the beginning on denying the Castro regime the resources it uses "to oppress its people and counteract its malicious interference in Venezuela and the rest of the Western Hemisphere."

With this action, we will once again hold the government of Cuba accountable and send a clear message: the Castro regime must end its support for international terrorism and the subversion of US justice, the statement underlined.

The state sponsor of terrorism falls under four main categories of sanctions that include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions. The US and its allies firms are restricted from trade with such states.

Communist Cuba rejoins the list, which has been occupied by Syria since December 1979, Iran since January 1984, and North Korea since November 2017.

"Country does not cooperates fully with anti-terrorism effort"

The 2019 State Department terrorism report corroborates Cuba's certification as a country that "does not cooperate fully" with Washington's counterterrorism efforts.

The report recalled that Cuba was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982 for providing advice, shelter, communications, training and financial support to individual guerrilla groups and terrorists, but this designation was rescinded in 2015 by the Obama administration.

Cuba maintains close and collaborative ties with countries designated by the United States as sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran and North Korea, and maintains refugees on the island as fugitives from US justice.

“Citing protocols of the peace negotiations, Cuba rejected Colombia's request for the extradition of 10 ELN leaders living in Havana after the group claimed responsibility for the bomb attack on a police academy in January 2019. that left 22 dead and 87 wounded, ” says the 2019 State Department report.

Cuba's regime top operatives responsible for policy of sponsoring of terror groups: Commander Guillermo García Frías and General Raúl Castro. (EFE via AFP)

Havana sheltered FARC terrorists

The authors of the report add that in addition to the ELN terrorists, there were credible reports that dissidents from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who abandoned the peace process in Colombia traveled to Havana to seek support from the regime.

The 2019 report says that Cuba also continues to host multiple fugitives who committed or supported acts of terrorism in the United States.

For example, the Cuban regime has refused to return Joanne Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, a fugitive on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List, convicted of executing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.

Cuba has also refused to hand over William “Guillermo” Morales, a fugitive who made bombs for the Armed Forces for National Liberation (FALN), wanted by the FBI and who escaped after being convicted of charges related to national terrorism.

It also mentions the cases of Ishmael LaBeet, known as Ishmael Muslim Ali, who was sentenced to 8 life sentences after being convicted of killing eight people in the Virgin Islands in 1972 and hijacking a plane to flee to Cuba in 1984; Charles Lee Hill, accused of killing New Mexico state trooper Robert Rosenbloom in 1971, and Ambrose Henry Montfort, who hijacked a plane to fly to Cuba in 1983.

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. Until these rights and freedoms are respected, we will continue to hold the regime accountable, stated the authors of the report released by the United States Department of State on Monday.


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