CubaBrief: U.S. State Department’s annual report on terrorism for the year 2022 has a chapter on Cuba, and the Castro regime’s official media cries “slander”

The Department of State issued the 2022 Country Reports on Terrorism (CRT) yesterday on November 30, 2023. The Cuban dictatorship’s official media howled that Cuba was “slandered” for remaining on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, but was silent in explaining Havana’s continuing support of terrorism.

Click on the image below to watch a video on Havana’s involvement in terrorism in 2023.

On May 17, 2012, the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing on “Cuba’s Global Network of Terrorism, Intelligence, and Warfare.” Christopher Simmons, retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency with over 23 years of experience as a counterintelligence officer, presented the following analysis of Cuba.

“In many respects, Cuba can be accurately characterized as a violent criminal organization masquerading as a government. The island’s five intelligence services exist not to protect the nation, but to ensure the survival of the regime. … Transitioning to the issue of terrorism, Havana takes a three-tier approach to its involvement in terrorism: Regime-directed, regime-supported, and finally, alliances with state sponsors. For regime-directed activities, we’re looking at specifically bona fide acts of terrorism, Cuban Intelligence Service targeting of the U.S. war on terrorism, and ‘Active Measures.’ ”

U.S.Department of State, November 30, 2023

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Country Reports on Terrorism 2022

Bureau of Counterterrorism

Country Reports on Terrorism 2022 is submitted in compliance with Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f (the “Act”), which requires the Department of State to provide to Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of the Act.

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Chapter 2 — State Sponsors of TerroriSM

This report provides a snapshot of events during 2022 relevant to countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism.  It does not constitute a new announcement regarding such designations.

To designate a country as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Secretary of State must determine that the government of such country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.  Once a country is designated, it remains a State Sponsor of Terrorism until the designation is rescinded in accordance with statutory criteria requiring the President to certify either that a) a designated country has not provided any support for acts of international terrorism during the previous six months and has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future, or 2) there has been a fundamental change in the leadership and policies of the designated country, that the country is not supporting acts of international terrorism, and that the country has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.  A wide range of sanctions is imposed because of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, including the following:

  • A ban on arms-related exports and sales

  • Controls over exports of dual-use items, requiring 30-day Congressional notification for goods or services that could significantly enhance the terrorist-list country’s military capability or ability to support terrorism

  • Restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance

  • Visa processing requirements

  • Imposition of miscellaneous financial and other restrictions

CUBA

On January 12, 2021, the Department of State designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.  The Secretary determined that the Cuban government repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists.

Cuba was previously designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982 because of its long history of providing advice, safe haven, communications, training, and financial support to guerrilla groups and individual terrorists.

Cuba’s designation was rescinded in 2015 after a thorough review found that the country met the statutory criteria for rescission.  In 2021 the Secretary of State determined that Cuba had repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism in the six years since its designation had been rescinded.  Citing peace negotiation protocols, Cuba refused Colombia’s request to extradite 10 ELN leaders living in Havana after that group claimed responsibility for the 2019 bombing of a Bogotá police academy that killed 22 people and injured 87 others.

The Cuban government did not formally respond to the extradition requests for ELN leaders Victor Orlando Cubides (aka “Pablo Tejada”) and Ramírez Pineda (aka “Pablo Beltrán”) filed by Colombia.

In November, pursuant to an order from Colombian President Petro, the Attorney General announced that arrest warrants would be suspended against 17 ELN commanders, including those whose extradition Colombia had previously requested.

Cuba also continues to harbor several U.S. fugitives from justice wanted on charges related to political violence, many of whom have resided in Cuba for decades.

https://www.state.gov/reports/country-reports-on-terrorism-2022/