Blinken affirms that U.S. do not plan to remove Cuba from the list of sponsors of terrorism

Blinken affirms that U.S. do not plan to remove Cuba from the list of sponsors of terrorism

HAVANA, March 24th The Government of Cuba affirmed this Thursday that the US never had the intention of removing the island from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism because “it is convenient.”Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez declared that the North American country has no plans to “correct the unfair qualification of Cuba” since “it is convenient for its criminal policy of economic suffocation,” according to what he published on Twitter.

Rodríguez echoed the statements this Thursday by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in which he stated that in the US “we are not planning” to remove the Caribbean country from the list.

During an appearance before the Foreign Relations committee of the House of Representatives, Blinken promised “that, if there were a review, it would be based on the law and the criteria that it establishes, which, as I said, have a very high bar.” high”.

The Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs affirmed that Blinken “confirms, in fact, that the qualifying lists of the State Department are nothing more than tools of political and economic coercion, totally divorced from such sensitive issues as terrorism, religion, human rights, drug trafficking, corruption and others.

A little less than a month ago, the Administration sent a report to Congress, corresponding to the year 2021, in which it is indicated that “the Cuban government repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism by granting safe harbor to terrorists.”

Cuba’s inclusion on the list in January 2021 was one of the last decisions the Trump government made before leaving power.

The United States then justified the measure, which entails several sanctions, alluding to the presence on the island of members of the Colombian ELN guerrilla, who traveled to Havana to start peace negotiations with the Colombian Executive.

In October 2023, Secretary Blinken had given a different response during a joint press conference with President Gustavo Petro in Bogotá, when asked about the designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of international terrorism.

“We have clear laws, clear criteria, clear requirements, and we will continue to review them as necessary to see if Cuba continues to deserve that designation,” he said then.

The island had left the list in 2015, during the stage of rapprochement promoted by then US President Barack Obama (2009-2017) and later stopped by Trump, who during his tenure redoubled sanctions against Cuba and paralyzed many of the measures of the “thaw” stimulated by its predecessor.

The current Biden Administration has made some gestures towards the island, such as eliminating the limit on remittances to Cuba, but it is still far from Obama’s approach.