CUBA | Blinken Removes Cuba from List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

CUBA | Blinken Removes Cuba from List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken removed Cuba Wednesday from the State Department’s short list of countries that it deems less than fully cooperative against violent groups.

In a statement, the State Department said Blinken had found that Cuban and U.S. law enforcement were again working together on counterterrorism and other efforts.

The State Department had cited Cuba as a “not fully cooperating country” in 2022, saying that Cuba had refused to engage with Colombia in the extradition of members of the National Liberation Army group.

Colombia later dropped its arrest warrants for those members, however. “Moreover, the United States and Cuba resumed law enforcement cooperation in 2023, including on counterterrorism,” Wednesday’s statement said.

The State Department, in compliance with U.S. laws on arms exports, maintains a list of countries perceived as not cooperating fully on counterterrorism.

The U.S. kept North Korea, Syria, Iran and Venezuela on the list in Wednesday’s rulings.

Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez acknowledged the decision, but he said that Washington could do more.

“The U.S. has just admitted what is known to everyone: that #Cuba fully collaborates with the efforts against terrorism,” Rodríguez said on X, formerly Twitter.

But he added that “all political manipulation of the issue should cease and our arbitrary and unjust inclusion on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism should end.”

Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs  wants  the United States government “to correct this injustice on the part of, not only the Cuban people and numerous governments, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, but also political, social and religious organizations within the United States itself and several politicians from that country.

“The clear and absolute truth is that Cuba does not sponsor terrorism, but has been a victim of it, including State terrorism, as anyone who is interested in the subject can confirm, an issue that the United States government is perfectly aware of. its State Department, and its intelligence and law enforcement agencies,” Cubaminrex says.

“They also know the extraordinary damage caused to the Cuban economy by the measures, actions and the intimidating effect that is automatically unleashed against any State that appears mentioned on that list, regardless of what the truth is.

“It is not enough to recognize that Cuba cooperates fully with the United States. It also does so with the international community as a whole. It is a known truth and no attempt should be made to confuse public opinion. The President of the United States has every prerogative to act honestly and do the right thing,” the Cuban government declared.

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