The United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has announced that Cuba has been returned to a list of countries that are designated as sponsors of terrorists. Pompeo’s department alleged that Cuba is harboring hostile personalities and committing malignant actions, Fox News reports.
“The administration of President Donald Trump has concentrated resources in ensuring that the Castro regime lacks the resources it utilizes in the suppression of its citizens,” Pompeo said on Monday. “The administration also ensures that the country does not exert undue influence on Venezuela and other countries in the Western Hemisphere. By designating Cuba as a sponsor of terror, we will make sure the government of Cuba accounts for all its misdeeds.”
Cuba was added to the State Sponsor of Terror (SST) list during the Ronald Reagan administration, and it stayed on the list until it was removed during the Barack Obama administration. The administration wanted to lessen the tensions between the two countries, but its intentions were ended by the Trump administration which stated that Cuba did not team up with it in its fight against terrorism.
Officials of the State Department stated that Cuba did not allow the extradition of 10 people that were allegedly involved in a bombing in a police academy in Colombia. In the bombing, 22 people died and several more people were injured. The department also added that Cuba is providing refuge to many fugitives running from the United States, one of which is Joanne Chesimard, a woman that was charged with killing a Trooper in New Jersey in 1973.
As if to worsen the relationship between the two countries, some US diplomats developed strange illnesses in Cuba. The accusations leveled against the Cuban government led to the Trump administration imposing a travel ban and financial restrictions against Cuba in 2017. On Monday, Pompeo announced that Cuba will be returned to the list because it has failed to follow the agreements that led to its removal.
“Cuba has been returned to the SST because it has failed to honor its commitment to support counterterrorism which was the condition on which the Obama administration removed it in 2015,” Pompeo explained.
Cuba might not remain on the list doc long especially as President-elect Joe Biden, who served as Obama’s Vice President, is set to assume office in about nine days. Ben Rhodes, who served as one of the top aids of the Obama administration, urged the Biden administration to remove Cuba from the list. Rhodes said that Biden should ignore “last-minute favors” issued by “an administration that has proven itself to be authoritarian”.
According to reports, the next administration might reduce some of the restrictions on Cuba. Pompeo said that the United States will not relent in its efforts and sanctions against Cuba until the country starts showing respect for its citizen’s rights and liberties.