Borrell will mediate with the United States

EU ambassador in hot water over Cuba letter

HAVANA, April 4th «Today Josep Borrell has responded favorably to my request, as president of the Intergroup of Friendship and Solidarity with the People of Cuba

in the European Parliament, for the EU to mediate with the Biden Administration and remove Cuba from the list of countries that promote terrorism.

With this tweet, the president of the Spanish Socialist Delegation in the European Parliament, Javier Moreno Sánchez, confirmed this week the intention of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security of the European Union to mediate before Washington to remove the Caribbean island from the list of countries sponsors of terrorism, in which it was included last January by the outgoing president, Donald Trump.

This confirmation is Borrell’s response, dated March 29, to a request sent last February by Moreno Sánchez for the EU to intercede with Washington to reverse the measure of the previous president, by which the island had returned to a list from which it had been extracted in 2015 by the Obama Administration within the framework of the thawing of relations between the two countries.

The re-entry to the list was announced on January 11, nine days before the end of Trump’s term, the then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo then justified the decision by accusing the Cuban regime of “repeatedly supporting acts of international terrorism by offering a safe haven to terrorists.”

He argued, in a statement, that the Cuban government had fed, sheltered and provided medical care “to murderers, explosives manufacturers and kidnappers, while many Cubans go hungry, are homeless and lack basic medicines. Members of the National Liberation Army (ELN), designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States, traveled to Havana to hold peace talks with the Colombian Government in 2017, “he said last January.

It also pointed out that, alleging peace negotiation protocols, Cuba had rejected Colombia’s requests to extradite ten ELN leaders living in Havana “after the group claimed responsibility for the bomb attack perpetrated in January 2019 in a school for police cadets in Bogotá, in which 22 people died and more than 87 were injured.

To all these complaints, the Trump Administration added that Cuba had given refuge and refused to extradite fugitives required by the US Justice for decades.

For all this, the island was once again included in the list of States that Sponsor Terrorism “after failing to fulfill the commitment to stop supporting terrorism that it had assumed before the previous government.”

In his reply letter to Moreno Sánchez, which he posted on his Twitter account, Borrell once again underlines the EU’s rejection, which it already expressed last January, to the inclusion of Cuba in the list of countries sponsoring terrorism , citing the role that the island played in the peace negotiations between the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN), which is why some of its guerrillas were on the island, according to the High Representative.

Negotiations that, as Borrell underlines in his reply letter, “have the full support of the EU.”

Borrell is not the only EU representative who has shown his rejection of the inclusion of Cuba on this list and of the sanctions imposed by the US This was demonstrated by the initiative in which the EU ambassador to Cuba recently participated, Alberto Navarro.

In it, Navarro supported a letter, addressed to the president Joe Biden, in which hundreds of members of Cuban civil society called for the sanctions against the island to be eased. The letter caused the discomfort of many MEPs who denounced Navarro’s actions, so he was summoned by Borrell in Brussels to give explanations. After apologizing for this fact, and for some statements affirming that Cuba was not a dictatorship, Navarro returned to his post in Havana, where he will conclude his mandate next August.

The inclusion of Cuba in the list of countries sponsoring terrorism has provoked a barrage of statements and petitions in recent months from both those who ask Biden to reverse the measure (Democratic congressmen, the EU, former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos ) and those who demand that it be maintained as long as Cuba does not take a step forward in the defense of human rights and abandon the repression against dissent (republican congressmen, exiles, conservative MEPs).

Appreciation of the regime

The EU’s confirmation of its intention to mediate with the United States so that Cuba is removed from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism has been welcomed by members of the Cuban regime.

This was stated in his Twitter account Ana Mari Machado, vice president of the National Assembly of People’s Power, who thanked the request made by the Intergroup of Friendship and Solidarity with Cuba in the Europarliament and the favorable response to mediate before the US president.(