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U.S. keeps Cuban military dictatorship designated as state sponsor of terrorism

One of the first to react was the Cuban ruler Miguel Díaz-Canel on his Twitter profile

March 2, 2023 6:53am

Updated: March 2, 2023 6:53am

After strong pressure from human rights activists inside and outside the island, the Biden administration has preserved the Trump era policy of keeping the Cuban military dictatorship designated as a state sponsor of terrorism at the U.S. State Department.

The State Department filed report this week explaining the reasons why Cuba remained on the list.

The State Department determined that "the Cuban government repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism by providing safe harbor for terrorists," the report says. 

One of the first to react to the text was the Cuban ruler Miguel Díaz-Canel on his Twitter profile.

"The Biden administration maintained the designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism on the spurious list. The true purpose of slandering the island as terrorist is to justify the illegal blockade of the United States against Cuba," Díaz-Canel wrote.

For several weeks now, the U.S. media, politicians, activists and human rights organizations have pushed for the Biden administration not to remove Cuba from the list. 

Even political prisoner and Yoruba priest Loreto Hernández García asked Biden not to remove the Cuban regime from the list from his prison cell.

In a public letter sent from the Guamajal prison, in the province of Villa Clara, Hernández García asked Biden "to desist from his intentions to remove the Castro regime from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism because the reasons for inclusion continue..."

The organization "Cuba Siglo 21" also joined the call to preserve Cuba on the list after alarm bells sounded in the human rights community after the U.S. recently sent a law enforcement delegation to Cuba to discuss transnational crime issues. 

Some human rights activists argued that removing Cuba from the list would strengthen Russian President Vladimir Putin and his current efforts to invade Ukraine.

They also said to fugitives from the National Liberation Army (ELN) and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been given refuge on the island.

Cuba was designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in January 2021 by President Donald Trump.