The US State Department has included Cuba on the list of states sponsoring terrorism due to the fact that it has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, providing safe haven to terrorists, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday.
“The Trump administration has focused from the outset on robbing the Castro regime of the resources it uses to oppress the people and countering its harmful interventions in Venezuela and other countries in the Western Hemisphere,” Pompeo said. “With this decision, we will bring the Cuban government back to justice and give a clear signal: the Castro regime must stop supporting international terrorism and undermine the American justice system.”
According to Pompeo, the Cuban government has been harboring criminals for decades, including members of the Colombian National Liberation Army, which the US has identified as a foreign terrorist organization.
“Cuba is returning to the list of sponsoring states of terrorism after it violated its commitment to end its support for terrorism, which was a condition for its removal from the list by the previous administration in 2015,” Pompeo added. In May 2020, the Department of State notified Congress that Cuba was not “fully cooperating” with US counterterrorism efforts in 2019.
Pompeo added that in addition to supporting international terrorism, the Cuban regime is carrying out various malicious activities throughout the region, including Venezuela.
The listing of Cuba allows for the imposition of sanctions on individuals and countries that conduct certain types of trade with Cuba, limits US assistance, bans the export of weapons, and imposes certain restrictions on the export of dual-use goods.
“The United States will continue to support the Cuban people in their pursuit of 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, ”the Secretary of State stressed.