When Cuba and the United States meet for talks in Havana this week, Cuban officials will ask that before diplomatic relations are restored, their country is removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.
A Cuban senior foreign ministry official told Reuters it was “unfair” that Cuba is on the State Department’s list alongside Iran, Syria, and Sudan. “We cannot conceive of re-establishing diplomatic relations while Cuba continues to be included on the list,” the official, who asked for anonymity, said. “It doesn’t make any sense that we re-establish diplomatic relations and Cuba continues (on the list).”
In the latest edition of the annual “Country Reports on Terrorism,” the State Department cited Cuba’s support for Colombia’s FARC guerrillas and the Basque separatist group ETA. As Reuters notes, ETA called a ceasefire in 2011 and said it would disarm, while Cuba has hosted peace talks between FARC and the Colombian government.
President Obama said last month that the U.S. would review the designation, and a State Department official told reporters the U.S. would work to remove Cuba from the list.
Catherine Garcia, The Week
January 20, 2015