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A new nod to the communist regime: Biden removes Cuba from the list of countries that do not cooperate in the fight against terrorism

Senator Marco Rubio described the decision as "absurd," pointing out that the Havana regime not only supports terrorist organizations but also provides them with refuge in its territory.

2024-04-24-El presidente de Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel- 34Q84CE

(Juan Barreto / AFP)

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This Wednesday, the United States Department of State removed Cuba from the short list of countries that resist cooperating in the fight against terrorism, despite concerns about its role in harboring terrorists and wanted fugitives in the United States.

According to a report delivered to Congress, Secretary of State Antony Blinken determined that, according to Section 40A of the Arms Export Control Act, only four countries (North Korea, Iran, Syria and Venezuela) did not fully collaborate with U.S. counterterrorism efforts during 2023.

Although Cuba had appeared on this list the previous year, it was eliminated because the United States had only included it on the list when it refused to collaborate with Colombia in the extradition of members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) group. However, according to the State Department, the situation changed when Colombia withdrew the arrest warrants against those members.

To support this decision, the State Department also highlighted that the United States and the Cuban regime "resumed law enforcement cooperation in 2023, including on counterterrorism," which, according to them, made it inappropriate to keep Cuba on this list.

Notably, countries included on the list could face various consequences and sanctions. These can range from restrictions on economic and military aid to limitations on diplomatic relations, as well as travel restrictions and other punitive measures, such as additional financial and trade sanctions.

Cuban reaction

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez welcomed the report presented by the U.S. State Department to Congress and stated that the island should now also be removed from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

"The United States has just admitted what is known to everyone: that Cuba collaborates fully with efforts against terrorism. All political manipulation of the issue should cease and our arbitrary and unjust inclusion on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism should end," Rodríguez expressed.

Senator Marco Rubio criticized the U.S. decision

Following the announcement, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio issued a statement highlighting how “absurd” the State Department's measure is.

President Biden is making it very clear that he wants to remove the Cuban dictatorship from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. The criminal and illegitimate regime in Havana supports foreign terrorist organizations in Colombia and harbors ETA terrorists as well as fugitives wanted by courts in the United States,” he stated.

Cuba was reinstated to the list of countries sponsoring terrorism in 2021 during President Donald Trump's term. Previously, his predecessor, Barack Obama, had removed the island from that designation in 2015 after remaining on the list since 1982.