Cuba Rejects US Terrorism Accusations, as Habana Blacklisted

Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez
Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez | Photo: EFE

“The United States hides its record of State terrorism against Cuba and impunity for violent groups on its territory,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on Twitter

May 13 (teleSUR) Cuba rejected on Wednesday accusations of terrorism by the United States, as President Donald Trump blacklisted the Caribbean island, claiming that it had not fully cooperated against terrorism.

While the U.S. Department blacklists Cuba with countries that do not cooperate in the fight against terrorism, it does not prevent or condemn the terrorist attack of April 30 on our embassy in Washington, Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on Twitter.

“The United States hides its record of State terrorism against Cuba and impunity for violent groups on its territory,” he added.

On Wednesday, Washington increased the pressure on Havana just one day after Cuba urged a terrorism probe over gunfire that hit its embassy in the U.S. capital.

The U.S. Department faulted Cuba over the presence of Colombia’s leftist ELN rebels, who traveled to Havana in 2017 to negotiate with the Bogota government but have not returned.

Peace talks between Ivan Duque’s government and the ELN were interrupted in January after a car bomb attack at a Bogotá police academy killed 21 recruits.

Since then, militants have been demanding, unsuccessfully, that Colombia grant safe passage for its negotiators to come back from Cuba.

On the other hand, the ELN is said to operate in about 10 percent of Colombia and is a smaller player than the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which reached a landmark peace agreement with the government in 2016. Hence, the attack on Cuba seems motivated by political reasons.

For his part, Miguel Ceballos, Colombia’s high commissioner for peace, says the U.S. move on Cuba gave weight to Bogota’s demands “that all countries where ELN or FARC members are present hands them over to justice.”

It is the first time that Cuba has been certified since the 2015 report when Obama’s administration removed it from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Now, it joined the ranks of four other U.S. adversaries – Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela.

The certification falls under the Arms Export Control Act and will have little practical effect on Cuba, which does not buy weapons from its long-time foe.

But the step is the latest by Mr. Trump to increase pressure on Cuba and move away from the reconciliation efforts undertaken by his predecessor Barack Obama.

The move is also separate from a U.S. designation of state sponsorship of terrorism, which has far-reaching legal effects.

Cuba is a crucial ally of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whom the United States has been trying to eliminate. So, this new attack could be linked to the objectives that the U.S. has against the sovereignty of the South American country.

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