In a historic new action by the Trump administration, it has again included Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” reversing a decision made by the Obama administration in 2015. Thus the United States is once again implementing a measure that positions it as a true fighter against communism in the region.
On Monday, the U.S. State Department announced that it has again included Cuba as one of the “sponsors of terrorism,” accusing it specifically of repeatedly supporting international criminal acts by granting safe haven to terrorists.
Pompeo was decisive in his message by holding Cuba’s government responsible for the ills suffered by its people while calling on the Castro regime to end its support of international terrorism and U.S. subversion.
“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 of State Michael Pompeo said in the press release.
Cuba was initially added to the list in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan, where it remained until 2015 when President Barack Obama “normalized” relations with the neighboring country.
According to the U.S. State Department, the list of state sponsors of terrorism currently includes three countries: Iran, North Korea, and Syria. The disadvantages of being on the list involve strict international sanctions and limits on U.S. foreign collaboration.
According to the State Department, the requirement for a country to be listed is that it has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism. And the categories of sanctions for designees are: “restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; bans on exports and sales of defense goods; export controls; and various financial and other restrictions.
During this year, the State Department said Cuba refused to extradite 10 suspects wanted in Colombia for a police academy bombing that killed 22 people and injured dozens more. Authorities also reported that Cuba harbored several U.S. fugitives.
“Cuba returns to the SST [State Sponsor of Terror] list following its broken commitment to stop supporting terrorism as a condition of its removal by the previous administration in 2015.”
Bloomberg reported last month that Biden’s team planned to reverse some of the Trump administration’s actions so far if they were to take over the White House. That includes easing restrictions on travel, remittances, and investment.
It is hoped that this new arrangement will cause further hindrance to any future government that wishes to regain friendships or dark deals with the communist state.
“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,” Pompeo said. “Until these rights and freedoms are respected, we will continue to hold the regime accountable.”