Trump administration re-designates Cuba as state sponsor of terrorism

Trump administration re-designates Cuba as state sponsor of terrorism

After weeks of rumors, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that the Trump administration is re-designating Cuba as a "state sponsor of terror".

"I am outraged that Donald Trump is designating Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism less than a week after he incited a domestic terror attack on the U.S. Capitol", he said in a statement.

Cuba's foreign minister responded to the move saying: "We condemn the hypocritical and cynical designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism by the U.S.".

A re-listing of Cuba has heavy symbolic meaning for Havana, which had chafed for decades under the USA designation, though it is unclear how much practical impact there will be.

"And we trust that this truth will have a certain influence on the government team that enters next January 20", he said.

Mr de Cossior insisted: "Cuba is a victim of terrorism, of terrorism that has been organised, financed and perpetrated by the government of the United States or by individuals and organisations that reside in the territory of the United States, or that operate from the territory of the United States with the tolerance of the authorities of that country".

Just nine days before Republican President Donald Trump leaves office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Cuba was being listed for "repeatedly providing support for acts of global terrorism" by harboring USA fugitives and Colombian rebel leaders.

Havana, for its part, left the list in 2015, during the spectacular rapprochement operated by former Democratic President Barack Obama, of which Joe Biden was the vice-president. Ties had been essentially frozen after Fidel Castro took power in 1959. Given the series of sanctions and restrictions already put in place under the Trump administration, it's unclear what further financial hardship the designation would present the Cuban government.

Foreign investors will now risk United States prosecution for transactions in Cuba.

In order to take Cuba off the list again, incoming President Biden's administration will have to carry out a formal review.

The reinstated sanctions also include major restrictions barring most travel between the U.S. and Cuba.

The process takes time, meaning Cuba could remain on the list for months. Obama's decision to formally remove Cuba from the terrorism list in 2015 was an important step toward restoring diplomatic ties that year.

Cuba is not a state sponsor of terrorism, a truth recognized by all.

But Trump's move could make it more hard for Biden to resume rapprochement when he takes office. His moves were popular with Cuban-Americans in Florida, a state Trump won in his re-election bid with the help of Cuban-American refugees, Venezuelan-Americans and other anti-Communist Latino voters. The State Department also cited Cuba's denial of a Colombian request to extradite members of a guerilla group that claimed responsibility for a bombing in a police academy; the Cuban government has cited the ongoing peace negotiation protocols.

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