CubaBrief: Why Cuba Belongs on the Terrorism List. Communist Dictatorship in Cuba honors Soviet Founder Vladimir Lenin on death anniversary

“We can’t expect to get anywhere unless we resort to terrorism …” Vladimir Ilyich Lenin“Meeting of the Presidium of the Petrograd Soviet With Delegates From the Food Supply Organisations” (27 January 1918) 

Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time,” and Cuba watchers should believe the Communist dictatorship in Cuba continues to be Leninist, and what that means.

Babalú Blog provided a translated quote by Cuban president Miguel Diaz Canel’s Tweet on January 21, 2024 celebrating the communist terrorist and despot: “#Lenin100 is trending on this platform today, a century after the physical disappearance of the leader of the October Socialist Revolution and the world proletariat. #Cuba honors his memory.”

However it was not just the Cuban president, but also the Foreign Ministry, and the Minister of Communications all celebrating the mass murdering dictator Lenin.

Leninism views terrorism as a legitimate method of struggle, and the Castro brothers, even prior to 1959, engaged in terrorism to take power, to hold on to power, and expand their influence internationally to the present day.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady in her column,”Why Cuba Belongs on the Terrorism List” published today in The Wall Street Journal provides the receipts to back up her two principle statements:

1. “Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism. It harbors fugitives from American justice and Latin American guerrillas who have committed crimes against humanity. It has supported repression in Venezuela for more than two decades.

2. There’s also a scarier list of global actors with which Cuba, with its advantage of proximity to the U.S., engages. China, Russia and Iran, all of which use violence against civilian populations, have sunk their claws into the Americas with help from Cuba.”

 On January 4, 2024 The Heritage Foundation, published “Cuba and Iran Are Still State Sponsors of Terrorism” by Joseph Humire, a visiting Fellow, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center and John Suarez, executive director, Center for a Free Cuba provided background on how “the Castro brothers have supported Middle Eastern terrorist groups since 1966, when they hosted the leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat subsequently visited Havana eight times. In the 1970s, it was common for Cuba’s Intelligence Directorate to send agents to PLO camps in Lebanon and vice versa. Between 1976 and 1982, the CIA estimated that 300 Palestinians were training in Cuban military camps.”

Humire and Suarez also cited repeated meanings by Havana with Hamas and the Mullahs in Iran in 2023, before and after the October 7th terror attacks against Israel.

That some would now call for Cuba to be taken off the terror sponsor list necessitates them ignoring what the communist dictatorship in Cuba is doing to sponsor and engage in international terrorism.

The Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2024

Why Cuba Belongs on the Terrorism List

Havana has alliances with Russia, China and Iran and a spy network in the U.S.

By Mary Anastasia O’Grady

Jan. 21, 2024

Miami

The U.S. redesignation of the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization corrects a policy error of February 2021, when the Yemen-based group was removed from Washington’s official list. Cuba’s been on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, along with Iran, North Korea and Syria, since 2021. This was reaffirmed in May by the State Department. That too is the right call.

The December arrest of retired U.S. Ambassador Victor Manuel Rocha on Justice Department charges of acting as an agent for Cuba for 40 years isn’t warmed-over Cold War stuff. It’s a reminder that after 65 years in power, with its economy in shambles, Havana remains a clear and present danger to U.S. national security. By embedding spies inside U.S. officialdom, Cuba makes its alliances with terrorists all the more treacherous. Covert Cuban agents traffic in stolen intelligence, spot recruits, blow covers and act to influence U.S. policy.

The terrorist tag makes it harder for Cuba to run its criminal enterprises because it raises the odds that financial, investment or trade transactions that violate U.S. economic sanctions will be flagged. It also increases Havana’s vulnerability to lawsuits in U.S. courts for extrajudicial killings and makes it harder for the regime to pass itself off as a normal country.

Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism. It harbors fugitives from American justice and Latin American guerrillas who have committed crimes against humanity. It has supported repression in Venezuela for more than two decades.

There’s also a scarier list of global actors with which Cuba, with its advantage of proximity to the U.S., engages. China, Russia and Iran, all of which use violence against civilian populations, have sunk their claws into the Americas with help from Cuba.

[ Full article ]

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-cuba-belongs-on-the-terrorism-list-spy-within-american-government-58d66752

Babalú Blog, January 22, 2024

Cuban ‘president’ pays homage to Lenin on the 100th anniversary of his death

January 22, 2024 by Alberto de la Cruz

On the 100th anniversary of the death of Vladimir Lenin, the Castro dictatorship trotted out its sock puppet president to pay homage to the villain who brought the world the scourge of communism. It is quite fitting that one of the last Stalinesque dictatorships still in power would commemorate the man who promoted an ideology that led to the deaths of more than 100-million innocent people.

Via Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Vladimir Lenin died 100 years ago today and Communist Cuba’s hand picked president is celebrating his legacy

Today, 100 years ago, Vladimir Lenin died. His bloody revolutionary career claimed millions of lives through politically orchestrated famines or outright murders, and he sentenced the peoples of the Soviet Union to seven decades of despotism.

Communist Cuba’s president pays homage to Lenin.

Raul Castro’s handpicked president, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, today over Twitter observed the death of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Vladimir Lenin and honored the late mass murderer, and despot. Below is the text translated to English, and a screen grab of what the Cuban president posted.

“#Lenin100 is trending on this platform today, a century after the physical disappearance of the leader of the October Socialist Revolution and the world proletariat. #Cuba honors his memory.”

Responded to his X post pointing out that it was the dictatorship in Cuba honoring Lenin’s memory, not the Cuban people, and added that “Lenin was truly one of the bloodiest mass murderers in history as well as a dictator and psychopath. You should be ashamed honoring this monster.”

Soviet leader: Lenin worse than Stalin

Who was this man, whom the Castro regime honored today on the 100th anniversary of his death?

The Russian communist revolutionary had several hundred aliases, but Lenin was the one he was best known for, and that he used politically. All the Bolshevik leaders used aliases.

Molotov, a contemporary who held a leadership position in the Soviet Union, was quoted in David Remnick’s 2014 book, Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire.

“‘You know its a pity that Lenin died so early. If he had lived longer, everything would have been normal.’ But Molotov said, ‘Why do you say that?’ My friend said, ‘Because Stalin was a bloodsucker and Lenin was a noble person.’ Molotov smiled, and then he said, ‘ Compared to Lenin, Stalin was a mere lamb.”

Molotov was born Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin and took the revolutionary name Vyacheslav Molotov. Molotov was one of the few Bolsheviks in Moscow, and he was part of the group that successfully carried out a coup against the social democrats in October 2017, and he was in the leadership group with both Lenin and Stalin throughout. He held leadership positions in the Soviet Union from the 1920s until 1961, when he was expelled from the Communist Party for opposing Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization policy. Molotov could assess both Lenin and Stalin’s ruthlessness.

Continue reading HERE.

https://babalublog.com/2024/01/22/cuban-president-pays-homage-to-lenin-on-the-100th-anniversary-of-his-death/#more-304599

The Heritage Foundation, January 4, 2024

Cuba and Iran Are Still State Sponsors of Terrorism

Jan 4, 2024

Joseph Humire

Visiting Fellow, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center

John Suarez

Executive Director, Center for a Free Cuba

Key Takeaways

  1. The list of State Sponsors of Terrorism is a useful foreign policy tool for pressuring rogue regimes. It’s important to keep Cuba on the list.

  2. Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism, has developed a close relationship with the regime in Cuba.

  3. Maintaining pressure on the regimes in Havana, and Tehran, and enforcing sanctions on Hezbollah and Hamas are good policy decisions.

After the October 7 terrorist attack on Israel, the Cuban Foreign Ministry issued a statement blaming the violence on the “impunity of Israel” and calling the Jewish state an occupying power. Missing was any condemnation of the Hamas terrorists. Perhaps, that’s because Havana has been providing intelligence to Hamas for decades and holding high level meetings with them, and their main sponsor, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Cuba, of course, is on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST). But not everyone wants to keep that designation intact.

A number of Latin American politicians are calling on the Biden administration to remove Cuba from the list. And that has become a real possibility now that Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., no longer chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A fierce critic of the Cuban regime, Menendez resigned the post following his Sept. 22 indictment on corruption charges. His replacement, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., does not share Menendez’ antipathy toward the Cuban regime. Neither does Rep. Jim McGovern, who has called on Biden to remove Cuba from the SST list earlier this year.  

The list of State Sponsors of Terrorism is a useful foreign policy tool for pressuring rogue regimes. It’s important to keep Cuba on the list. Let’s review how Cuba got there and why it should remain.

Cuba was initially designated as a state sponsor of terror on March 1, 1982, after the State Department confirmed Havana was using a narcotics ring to funnel arms and cash to the Colombian terrorist group M-19. Three years later, M-19 members stormed Colombia’s Palace of Justice, killing 11 of the Colombian Supreme Court’s 25 justices in one of the worst terrorist acts in the country’s history. (Among those asking Biden to drop Cuba from the list, is Colombian President Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 terrorist group himself.)

In 2015, with Sen. Cardin serving as ranking minority member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations , President Obama removed Cuba from the list. But Havana’s behavior did not improve:

For these reasons and more, the Trump administration placed Cuba back on the state sponsor of terrorism list in 2021. This pleased our democratic partners in the hemisphere who understand that Cuba has evolved from simply supporting Latin American terrorist networks to helping international terrorism, particularly from the Middle East.

Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism, has developed a close relationship with the regime in Cuba. When Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited Havana earlier this year, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel observed, “This visit reinforced our conviction that we have in Iran a friendly nation in the Middle East, with which to confide… and talk about the most complex global issues.”

Following the Oct. 7 terrorist attack, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei welcomed Diaz-Canel to Tehran, stating that their strategic alliance “can take a common and effective position on important international issues such as the Palestinian issue.”

Iran has been building an asymmetric presence in Latin America and the Caribbean for several decades and counts on Cuba to strengthen its regional network. More than 20 years ago, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro visited Tehran and expressed the hope that “Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, can bring America to its knees.”

Indeed, the Castro brothers have supported Middle Eastern terrorist groups since 1966, when they hosted the leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat subsequently visited Havana eight times. In the 1970s, it was common for Cuba’s Intelligence Directorate to send agents to PLO camps in Lebanon and vice versa. Between 1976 and 1982, the CIA estimated that 300 Palestinians were training in Cuban military camps.

Today, Cuba’s presence remains strong in Lebanon, and the communist dictatorship has formalized its relationship with U.S.-designated terrorist groups, Hamas, and Hezbollah. In July 2021, Hezbollah’s head of international relations, Ammar Al-Moussawi, visited the Cuban embassy in Beirut to show solidarity during the height of anti-regime protests spreading throughout the island. Hezbollah and Cuba have both helped Venezuela’s Maduro regime and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad remain entrenched in power.

Removing Cuba’s designation as a terrorist sponsor would have multiple negative effects on U.S. national security. Chief among them is it would provide legitimacy to the longest-running dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere at a time when authoritarianism is on the rise in Latin America.

The Biden administration’s National Security Strategy, published last October, states that “the most pressing strategic challenge facing our vision is from powers that layer authoritarian governance with a revisionist foreign policy.”

You don’t fight against authoritarianism by rewarding an authoritarian regime. This is what happened in 2015, creating a moral hazard for U.S.-Cuba policy that established perverse incentives for the Cuban regime, instead of penalties for malign activities.

Counterterrorism is not a partisan issue. Maintaining pressure on the regimes in Havana, and Tehran, and enforcing sanctions on Hezbollah and Hamas are good policy decisions. Keeping Cuba on the U.S. state sponsor of terrorism list reflects the long track record of bad behavior of the Cuban regime. Turning a blind eye to this from 2015 to 2021 was bad policy, and it put Americans at risk. The U.S. Congress should ensure that the Biden administration does not make this mistake.

This piece originally appeared in RealClear Defense

https://www.heritage.org/terrorism/commentary/cuba-and-iran-are-still-state-sponsors-terrorism