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Biden sending U.S. officials to Cuba for negotiations, raising questions about state sponsor of terrorism designation

Officials from the FBI and Departments of Homeland, Justice and State are being sent to the island, raising questions as to whether the U.S. plans to remove Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list

January 11, 2023 9:33pm

Updated: January 27, 2023 7:54pm

A high level delegation of officials from the FBI and U.S. Departments of Homeland, Justice and State are reportedly planning to visit Cuba to start a dialogue with the island's regime, according to reports from Miami television network,  America TeVe.

The meeting has been referred to as a “dialogue of legal compliance” and slated with the official purpose of establishing discussions between high level Cuban regime officials with the FBI, and Departments of Homeland Security, State and Justice.

Sources who spoke with America TeVe described the upcoming meeting as continuation of previous dialogues on migration and the attempts of Democratic legislators to facilitate an improvement in relations with Havana’s communist regime.

The purported meeting will take place in a tense Cuban atmosphere, in the wake of last year’s July 11 protests, which resulted in widely reported human rights abuses and violations including extrajudicial punishment, cruel and unusual sentences, political harassment for citizens, state violence against residents, compulsory exile, and a major crackdown against the island's independent press.

The island’s military dictatorship has frequently complained that the United States has drifted from the old Cuba Thaw policies of the Obama administration, and it has urged the Biden administration not to accept the measures taken by the Trump administration, which placed the Caribbean country on the list of states sponsoring terrorism.

Since Biden came to office, Havana has achieved several concessions in the form of immigration agreements for the delivery of visas, the humanitarian parole plan, and an ease in financial and travel restrictions.

Those restrictions were loosened to permit air travel to various provinces of the island, the management of remittances through government companies, and the delivery of remittances through Western Union in the form of direct deposits without limits to bank accounts and financial institutions associated with the regime.

Such concessions came in the wake of massive Cuban migrations to the U.S. and the regime’s willingness to take some defectors and refugees back to ease the immigration pressure on the United States.

The regime has strategically used migration in the past as a way to create political chaos in the U.S., the most famous incident being the 1980 Mariel Boatlift in which former dictator Fidel Castro pushed tens of thousands of Cubans to leave the island in an unprecedented mass migration toward Miami.

That incident resulted in huge changes for the city and the State of Florida. Recent migration numbers in the U.S. have reached unprecedented numbers, placing the Biden administration under fire by both Democratic and Republican opponents, and state officials from southern states from Arizona, Texas and Florida.

Executive Editor

Gelet Martínez Fragela

Gelet Martínez Fragela is the founder and editor-in-chief of ADN America. She is a Cuban journalist, television producer, and political refugee who also founded ADN Cuba.