US removes Cuba from the list of countries that do not cooperate against terrorism

US removes Cuba from the list of countries that do not cooperate against terrorism

HAVANA, May 16 The United States removed Cuba this Wednesday and kept Venezuela in the group of countries that do not fully cooperate in their anti-terrorist fight Havana remains on the black list of state sponsors of terrorism.

In a report transmitted to Congress, the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, states that four countries, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela, “do not fully cooperate” in the fight against terrorism.

Cuba appeared on the list last year due, according to the State Department, to its refusal to extradite militants of the ELN guerrilla group to Colombia. Colombia’s first leftist president, Gustavo Petro, has since suspended arrest warrants against the guerrillas, the State Department says.

“In addition, the United States and Cuba resumed law enforcement cooperation in 2023, including combating terrorism,” a State Department spokesperson said.

This led President Joe Biden’s government to conclude that “it is no longer appropriate” to include Cuba among the countries “not fully cooperating.” The Cuban government reacted quickly.

“The US has just admitted what is known to everyone: that #Cuba collaborates fully with efforts against terrorism,” Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez stated on the social network X. “All political manipulation of the issue should cease and our arbitrary and unjust inclusion on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism should end,” he adds.

The relationship between both countries is tense

For more than six decades, Washington has imposed an embargo on Cuba that former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) toughened by once again including the island on his blacklist of sponsors of terrorism, a measure that hinders commercial transactions and investments because companies are exposed to US sanctions.

His successor, Democrat Biden, kept it there and seems little inclined to reconcile with Cuba, especially after the repression of anti-government demonstrations.

Biden has promised US congressmen that he would not remove Cuba from the blacklist of sponsoring states, which also includes Iran, North Korea and Syria.