Monday, 25 January, 2021

United States puts Cuba on terrorism blacklist again

President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a virtual meeting with members of his national security and foreign policy agency review teams at The Queen theater Monday Dec. 28 2020 in Wilmington Delaware Trump administration plans to return Cuba to U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, source says
Deanna Wagner | 14 January, 2021, 14:27

Just nine days before Republican President Donald Trump leaves office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo It was reported that Cuba was placed on the protection list of American fugitives and Colombian rebel leaders.

In advance of the announcement, House Democrat Gregory Meeks called it "another stunt by President Trump and Pompeo, trying to tie the hands of the incoming Biden administration on their way out the door".

The United States government has again blacklisted Cuba as a "state sponsor of terrorism", reports The Guardian.

He noted that the strategy of the normalization of bilateral relations between the U.S. and Cuba, advocated by former U.S. President Barack Obama and dropped by the Trump administration, was of core interest for both nations and would contribute to stability in Latin America.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Carlos Fernandez de Cossio said Monday's last-gasp move by departing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was "an insult" to the socialist island, accusing the former Central Intelligence Agency chief of "a calumny of lies".

"We condemn the United States, which declared the hypocrisy and cynicism that Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism", he wrote on Twitter.

"The US political opportunism is recognized by those who are honestly concerned about the scourge of terrorism and its victims", Rodríguez tweeted.

What does this mean for Cuba?

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A re-listing of Cuba has heavy symbolic meaning for Havana, which had chafed for decades under the USA designation, though it is unclear how much practical impact there will be. The new terrorism label will likely scare off many businesses that import to Cuba, banks that finance transactions with Cuba and foreign investors.

But many of those restrictions are already in place - or have even been tightened by Trump - and a decades-old US economic embargo remains and can only be lifted by Congress.

The sanctions also curb money transfers between the two countries, hitting hard the incomes of Cubans who have relatives in the US.

Cuba joins Iran, North Korea and Syria on this blacklist.

The real motive behind this move is to offer a parting gift to the Cuban exile community and its allies that have been loyal supporters of the Trump administration and helped oust several Democratic members of Congress in the last election.

If he wants to overturn Monday's sanction, however, he will have to wait and go through a complex and often lengthy legal process: the State Department will have to initiate a formal analysis in order to be able to declare that the country has had no ties. terrorists in the past six months.

But Trump's move could make it more hard for Biden to resume rapprochement when he takes office.

Two months later, the United States imposed new travel restrictions to stop USA citizens from visiting the island on cruise ships and other travel. Regarding the ELN, the gist of the story is that the Trump administration is punishing Cuba for its role in attempting to bring peace to the long-simmering conflict in Colombia. This policy made him popular with the Cuban-American population of South Florida.