In a shocking announcement last evening, the US State Department has designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism!
According to an official press release, the move against Cuba was necessitated due to its “repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists.”
It said that the Castro regime “must end its support for international terrorism and subversion of U.S. justice.”
The strongly worded press release further claimed, “For decades, the Cuban government has fed, housed, and provided medical care for murderers, bombmakers, and hijackers, while many Cubans go hungry, homeless, and without basic medicine.” It added, “Cuba also harbors several U.S. fugitives from justice wanted on or convicted of charges of political violence, many of whom have resided in Cuba for decades.”
It further says, “The Cuban intelligence and security apparatus has infiltrated Venezuela’s security and military forces, assisting Nicholas Maduro to maintain his stranglehold over his people while allowing terrorist organizations to operate,” adding, “the regime’s support of Maduro has created a permissive environment for international terrorists to live and thrive within Venezuela.”
Explaining the ramifications of the designation, the State Department press release says, “Today’s designation subjects Cuba to sanctions that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with Cuba, restricts U.S. foreign assistance, bans defense exports and sales, and imposes certain controls on exports of dual use items.”
Florida Senator Rick Scott welcomed the move tweeting, “Glad that the State Department heeded my calls and reinstated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism today. This decision works to hold the Cuban regime accountable and signals to the global community that the U.S. will not tolerate rouge nations that oppress their people.”
However, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar denounced the move warning, “Designating Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism hinders future efforts to pursue a policy that furthers our national interests & improves the lives of citizens of both countries.”
It is noteworthy, that Cuba had been previously taken off the list in 2015 by the Obama administration. The outgoing Trump administration’s decision to put it back on the same list as countries like Syria, Iran and North Korea will certainly make it difficult for the incoming Biden-Harris administration to improve relations with Cuba.
*Feature image courtesy SweetMellowChill via Wikimedia Commons.