Biden Administration Rules Out Removing the Cuban Regime from the List of ‘Sponsors of Terrorism’

Miguel Diaz-Canel
by DNA Cuba Desk


The Joe Biden administration has no plans to remove the Cuban regime from the list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism,” the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, said Thursday during a hearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee—House of Representatives (HFAC).

“We do not plan to remove them from the list,” said the Secretary of State in response to a direct question about it made by Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar.

The Florida Cuban-American policy insisted on getting an explicit response on this matter, to which Secretary Blinken stated: “If there is going to be such a review [of the list], it will be based on the law and the criteria of the law established by Congress”, which are very high, according to the Secretary of State.

In the hearing before the HFAC , whose theme was “The State of US Diplomacy in 2023: Growing Conflicts, Budgetary Challenges, and Great Power Competition,” Salazar asked if the US government considered that up to now Havana had whether or not it has met the high standard to be removed from the list of “sponsors of terrorism,” to which Secretary of State Antony Blinken replied: “No.”

In 1982 Cuba was included in that list for the first time, but it was removed in 2015 during the Barack Obama administration in its stage of rapprochement with the Havana regime. The communist government was again designated a “sponsor of terrorism” during the presidency of Donald Trump, a status ratified by Joe Biden.

At the end of last February, a 2021 report was made public that explains the reasons why Cuba is still on the list , according to the State Department, including that the US “determined that the Cuban government repeatedly provided support to acts of international terrorism by providing a safe harbor for terrorists”.

Cuba is on the list along with North Korea, Syria and Iran “because of its long history of providing advice, safe haven, communications, training and financial support to guerrilla groups and individual terrorists,” the State Department added.

One of the first to react to the text was the Cuban ruler Miguel Díaz-Canel: “The Joe Biden administration maintained, on the spurious list, the designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. The true purpose of slandering the island as a terrorist is to justify the illegal blockade [embargo] of the United States against Cuba,”  the designated president said on Twitter .

Before confirming that the regime remained on the list as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism”, various  US media outlets, politicians, Cuban activists and pro-democratic organizations asked the Biden administration not to remove Castroism from this list .

Among other arguments, mention is made of Havana’s support for the invasion of Ukraine by Russia , a state designated by the European Union as a “sponsor of terrorism” and whose army and its president, Vladimir Putin, are accused of “war crimes.”

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Photo “Miguel Diaz-Canel” by The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office. CC BY 3.0.




Reprinted with permission from ADN America.

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