Biden Removes Hamas Ally Cuba from Blacklist of Countries That Don’t Cooperate to Fight Terrorism

(L-R) Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, Cuba's Vice President Salvador Va

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday removed Cuba’s communist regime from the State Department’s list of countries “not cooperating fully” against terrorism.

In a statement reportedly sent to members of the U.S. Congress and media, Secretary Blinken said that Cuban and U.S. law enforcement officials were once again working together on counterterrorism and other related efforts — and as such its inclusion on the list was deemed “no longer appropriate.”

“The department determined that the circumstances for Cuba’s certification as a ‘not fully cooperating country’ have changed from 2022 to 2023,” a U.S. Department of State official reportedly said.

Martí Noticias, a U.S.-based news outlet that focuses on Cuba, reported on Wednesday that it had obtained access to a copy of the statement, which asserted that North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Venezuela are still on the list of countries not fully cooperating with U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

The note reportedly stressed that, while Cuba was removed from the list of countries are “not cooperating fully” against fighting terrorism, the country still remains on the official list of States Sponsors of Terrorism (SST) alongside Iran, Syria, and North Korea.

“The law establishes specific legal criteria for rescinding an SST designation,” the statement reportedly read. “Any review of Cuba’s status on the SST list would be based on the law and the criteria established by Congress.”

Cuba appeared on the SST list from 1982 to 2015 prior to the redesignation and was removed during the Castro-friendly administration of former President Barack Obama.

During the administration of former President Donald Trump, the United States designated Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism in January 2021 due to the Castro regime’s deep ties with international terrorist organizations such as the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Shiite jihadist organization Hezbollah, and Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Marxist terrorist groups. 

The communist Castro regime also maintains a relationship with the Sunni jihadist terrorist group Hamas. Hamas terrorists met with a Cuban envoy in Lebanon in February 2023 and the regime has openly condemned Israel in the wake of Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on the country, which left over 1,200 dead and hundreds taken hostage.

Similar to other far-left Latin American regimes and governments, the Castro regime has accused Israel of commiting “genocide” in its self-defense operations against Hamas, but not condemned the explicitly genocidal Hamas goal of destroying the Israeli nation and its people.

The Castro regime has held several pro-Hamas events in the past few months. Most recently, the communist regime organized an LGBT “Conga Against Homophobia” in favor of Hamas — disregarding both Cuba’s and Hamas’s notorious track record of repressing gay rights. The event was led by Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuba’s nonagenarian dictator Raúl Castro.

Last week, a report published by ADN America stated that several of the far-left activists leading and instigating pro-Hamas protests across U.S. university campuses have received support and training from Cuba.

Some of the activists – such as Manolo De Los Santos, executive director of the far-left organization The People’s Forum – have traveled to Havana and personally met with the Castro regime’s figurehead President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

William LeoGrande, a professor at Washington’s American University, told Reuters on Wednesday that “this move by the Biden Administration could well be a prelude to the State Department reviewing Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.”

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla — in response to a social media post made by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) in which she called for Cuba’s removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism — thanked the “efforts of U.S. Congressmen that have urged Biden to remove Cuba from the list.”

“The presence of our country on this spurious list is one more way to maintain criminal punishment of the Cuban people,” the message read.

In February, Rep. Jayapal and Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) secretly traveled to Cuba to meet with “people from across Cuban civil society and government officials to discuss human rights” and the bilateral relationship between both countries.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Wednesday evening referring to Cuba’s removal from the list of countries not fully cooperating with U.S. counterterrorism efforts. In the statement, the Castro regime demands Cuba’s removal from the list of states sponsors of terrorism, which they described as an “absolutely unilateral and unfounded list, whose only purpose is to slander and serve as a pretext for the adoption of coercive economic measures against sovereign states, such as those ruthlessly applied against Cuba.”

“The clear and absolute truth is that Cuba does not sponsor terrorism, but has been a victim of it, including State terrorism,” the statement read.

The statement concluded by claiming that it is “not enough” to recognize that Cuba “cooperates fully with the United States,” but that it also does cooperate “with the international community as a whole.”

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.


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