Cuba rejects 'terrorist state' designation in US report

News from Cuba | Monday, 4 December 2023

The US State Department has reiterated its designation of Cuba as a ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism’ (SSOT) in an annual report released on 30 November. Once again, the main justification was Cuba’s refusal to extradite ELN leaders in Havana in 2019 when they were hosting peace talks between the ELN and Colombian government.

Cuba was removed from the list by the Obama administration in 2015 following rapprochement with the US. However, a few days before the end of his term on 11 January 2021 Donald Trump returned Cuba to the SSOT list. It remains a designated SSOT coutnry alongside the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Syria.

There have been numerous international calls to remove Cuba from the US list. Tens of countries condemned their inclusion during the November 2023 United Nations General Assembly debate which saw 187-2 vote against the illegal US blockade.

The State Department’s own report acknowledges that Colombian President Gustavo Petro has also called for Cuba to be removed from the list and has called its continued inclusion a “profound injustice.”

Cuba’s inclusion on the adds to economic hardship on the island, making it increasingly difficult to acquire basic necessities such as fuel, food, medicines and hygiene products or gain credit or participate in international banking transactions.

Cuba’s Foreign Ministry (MINREX) rejected “in the strongest terms the slanderous reference against Cuba” in a statement on 2 December published below. MINREX said the report was based on unfounded accusations used for political purposes, which attempt to justify the attacks against Cuba, including the inhumane economic, commercial and financial blockade.

Join the international campaign to remove Cuba from the SSOT list by signing CSC’s open letter here.

Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejects in the strongest terms the slanderous reference against Cuba by the United States Department of State(DoS), in its most recent report on terrorism, corresponding to the year 2022 released on 30 November 2023.

The elements exposed in the aforementioned report dishonestly recycle the pretexts used to justify the presence of Cuba in the arbitrary and discredited list published by the DoS of states that supposedly sponsor terrorism, and which serves to impose measures of economic coercion against countries with which the United States government has political disagreements. This arbitrary classification of Cuba is the object of overwhelming rejection at the international level and by numerous political and social organizations within the United States itself.

The US government authorities, especially their agencies linked to law enforcement, have more than enough information to verify Cuba's firm and clean commitment to confronting this scourge. The official bilateral exchanges carried out between the two countries on the specific topic of terrorism confirm this. Cuba's commitment is absolute and categorical against all terrorist acts, methods and practices in all their forms and manifestations by whoever, against whomever, and wherever they are perpetrated, whatever their motivations, including those in which there are governments directly or indirectly involved.

Cuba will maintain its efforts in the fight against terrorism, of which it has been a victim, at the cost of 3,478 deaths and 2,099 disabled people, all as a consequence of actions organized, financed and perpetrated fundamentally from the territory of the United States by individuals and organizations there. They operate with the tolerance, complicity and protection of the government of that country.

Havana, December 2, 2023

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