Cuba slams US decision to label it state sponsor of terrorism

TEHRAN, Jan. 12 (MNA) – Cuba’s authorities have slammed as hypocrisy the US move to add the republic to the list of states deemed by Washington as sponsors of international terrorism, Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla said.

"We condemn the hypocritical and cynical decision of the United States to brand Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. All those who are sincerely concerned over the problem of terrorism view this move as political opportunism," the top diplomat wrote on his Twitter account, TASS reported.

On Monday, the Trump administration again put Cuba on the list of states, claiming that the country provides assistance to international terrorism.

The US claims that Havana had refused to extradite leaders of Colombia’s revolutionary left-wing armed group, the National Liberation Army. Washington notes that this designation implicates "restrictions on US foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual-use items" and "other sanctions laws that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with state sponsors."

Observers believe the move by the Trump administration will create obstacles for US President-Elect Joe Biden to normalize relations with the republic. 

The United States severed diplomatic ties with Cuba in 1961 in response to the nationalization of American property on the island. Washington later enforced a trade and economic embargo on Havana. In December 2014, then US President Barack Obama admitted that Washington’s previous policy towards Cuba was not working and announced a new policy aimed at mending bilateral relations and easing sanctions.

However, US President Donald Trump took a tougher stance on Cuba. He tightened the rules for Americans travelling to Cuba and imposed a ban on doing business with organizations controlled by the Cuban military. US President-Elect Joe Biden has criticized Trump’s policy on Havana.


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