CFC: State Department re-designation of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism rectifies error made in 2015

Center for a Free Cuba: State Department re-designation of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism rectifies error made in 2015

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Washington, DC, January 11, 2020. Center for a Free Cuba The State Department re-designating Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SSOT) today rectifies an error made in 2015. Havana continues to “repeatedly provide support for acts of international terrorism” and has never stopped granting international terrorists safe haven in Cuba. 

Cuba continues to harbor dozens of wanted terrorists, among them the notorious cop-killer Joanne Chesimard. Havana provides a safe-haven for leaders of the Colombian terrorist group Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) and maintains close ties with terror sponsor states North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

The State Department in today’s announcement highlighted that “Cuba has refused Colombia’s requests to extradite ten ELN leaders living in Havana after the group claimed responsibility for the January 2019 bombing of a Bogota police academy that killed 22 people and injured more than 87 others.”

Havana continues to provide command, control, Cuban military and security agents, to violently prop up the illegitimate Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela, and has expanded its presence in other leftist Latin American countries including, but not limited to, Nicaragua and Bolivia.

The decision to remove Cuba from the SSOT list in 2015 was a politicized decision made in response to demands from the Castro regime as a pre-condition of re-establishing diplomatic relations later that same year. In the belief that the American people have a right to know what the Cuban Government already does, the Center for a Free Cuba has requested that the record of the 2009-2017 US-Cuba negotiations to reestablish diplomatic relations be declassified.

When it normalized relations with Cuba, the Obama administration hoped to see political and economic reforms instituted by the regime. Instead, repression and human rights violations increased, as recognized by Obama’s own former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Worse yet, in 2016 U.S. diplomats stationed in Havana began to suffer brain injuries, and regime officials were unhelpful in finding the cause. The US National Academies of Sciences reported that the “sonic” attacks against American and Canadian diplomats were the result of a “directed, pulsed radio frequency energy.” Cuba continues to deny any responsibility or recognize that the attacks occurred despite its responsibility to protect them under the Vienna Convention.

“The reasons for Cuba to be on the State Sponsors of Terrorism List remain, and have indeed expanded since the original designation in 1982,” said Ambassador Otto J. Reich, president of the Center for a Free Cuba.