The Cuban government has reacted angrily to the news that the US government has kept the island on its black list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. The designation is aimed at imposing sanctions of those countries which that “have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism”. Only three other countries are on the list – Iran, Syria and the Sudan. North Korea and Colonel Gadhafi’s Libya were on it but they were removed from the list by the bush Administration.
News that Cuba is to remain on the State Departments’ list of alleged “State Sponsors of Terrorism” has brought a swift and strongly worded response from the authorities. On the front page of this morning’s official newspaper, “Granma,” there’s a banner saying Declaration from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Inside, the statement accuses the U.S. of lying and using the sensitive issue of terrorism for petty political purposes.
It’s an issue which most people here deeply resent.
Cuba was added to the list 30 years ago, due to its support for communist rebels in Africa and Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s. But these days it is medical brigades, doctors not soldiers, which it sends abroad.
“The only reason for keeping Cuba on the list,” the statement reads,“is to try and justify the trade embargo with the aim of strangling the Cuban economy and imposing a regime which responds to the interests of the United States.”
MOS said, “Cubans don’t support any kind of terrorism. We just want to be free and defend ourselves as we can and fight for our independence.”
MOS said, “The Americans always inventing ways to annoy Cuba. It’s a thorn in our side. But it doesn’t work because truth is on our side.”
This isn’t simple a “name-and-shame” black list, those on it face stiff commercial, financial and banking sanctions, which hurt the Cuban economy at least as much as the U.S. trade embargo.
Michael, what are the reasons given by the State Department for designating Cuba a State Sponsor of Terrorism?