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Washington Removes Cuba From List Of Countries Not Cooperating Fully Against Terrorism

Above photo: A woman walks past graffiti of revolutionary hero Ernesto “Che” Guevara and a Cuban flag by Mexican artistic group ASARO for the 12th Havana Biennial, in Havana, May 28, 2015. Enrique de la Osa/Reuters..

The US Department of State has announced that Cuba is no longer on their list of countries not fully cooperating against terrorism, which does not include the lifting of their illegal and unilateral sanctions against the Cuban people.

The cooperation against terrorism list, which the Department of State is required by law to provide to US Congress, is not the same as the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, according to a Department of State official announcing the decision this Wednesday, May 15.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez reported via social media that “the United States has just admitted what is known to all: that Cuba fully collaborates with the efforts against terrorism.”

The Cuban top diplomat called for an end to all kinds of political manipulation on the issue against the Caribbean island, including the ongoing demand for its removal from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, which he described as arbitrary and unfair.

“The US government must remove Cuba from the arbitrary list it uses to designate countries that supposedly sponsor terrorism, and stop applying the coercive economic measures that accompany this unjust designation,” Rodríguez wrote in another post. “This would truly respond to a almost universal claim.”

“This move by the Biden Administration could well be a prelude to the State Department reviewing Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism,” stated William LeoGrande, a professor at Washington’s American University, according to Reuters.

The State Department considered, according to a statement, that the circumstances for the certification of Cuba as a country that does not fully cooperate with anti-terrorist efforts (Not Fully Cooperating Country, NFCC) have changed from 2022 to 2023, and that consequently, the Department of State does not designate the island as such for the calendar year 2023, under Section 40A of the Arms Export Control Act, reported Telesur.

The sponsor of terrorism list

The inclusion of Cuba in the unilateral list of countries sponsoring terrorism dates back to January 2021, was one of the last decisions made by the administration of Republican Donald Trump (2017-2021) before leaving power.

Washington then justified the decision by referring to the presence on the island of members of the Colombian guerrilla organization the National Liberation Army (ELN), who traveled to Havana to hold peace negotiations with the government of Colombia.

The presence of ELN members in Cuba was part of an international peace negotiation requested directly by the Colombian government, which the US government was also part of.

The continued renewal of illegal US sanctions against Cuba using this excuse has aggravated the economic and social conditions forced upon millions of Cubans in recent years, forcing a significant migration wave mostly towards the US and Europe.

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