The U.S. State Department has placed Cuba on a list of state sponsors of terrorism because it has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism by providing safe havens for terrorists, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.
“The Trump administration has been focused from the beginning on stripping the Castro regime of the resources it uses to oppress people and to counter its pernicious interference in Venezuela and elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere,” Pompeo said. – With this decision, we will hold the Cuban government accountable again and send a clear message: The Castro regime must stop supporting international terrorism and undermining the U.S. justice system.”
According to Pompeo, the Cuban government has been harboring criminals for decades, including members of the Colombian National Liberation Army, which the U.S. has recognized as a foreign terrorist organization.
“Cuba returns to the list of state sponsors of terrorism after it violated its pledge to stop supporting terrorism, which was a condition for its removal from the list by the previous administration in 2015,” Pompeo added. In May 2020, the State Department notified Congress that Cuba had not “fully cooperated” with U.S. counterterrorism efforts in 2019.
Pompeo added that in addition to supporting international terrorism, the Cuban regime has engaged in various malicious activities throughout the region, including in Venezuela.
Cuba’s listing allows sanctions on individuals and countries that conduct certain types of trade with Cuba, restricts U.S. aid, prohibits arms exports, and imposes certain restrictions on exports of dual-use goods.
“The United States will continue to support the Cuban people in their quest for democratic government and respect for human rights, including freedom of religion, expression, and association. As long as these rights and freedoms are not respected, we will continue to hold the regime accountable,” the secretary of state stressed.