[QODLink]
Americas

Cuba condemns US terrorism claims

Foreign Ministry rejects a US report naming Cuba a supporter of terrorism, blaming Washington for manipulation.

Last updated: 02 May 2014 01:27
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Cuba has been on Washington's list of countries that support terrorism since 1982 [GALLO/GETTY]

Cuba denounced an annual United States government report for once again designating the central American country as a state sponsor of "terrorism”, a setback for advocates hoping for a change in Washington's Cuba policy this year.

The Country Reports on Terrorism, issued on Wednesday by the State Department, continued to list Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria as countries that have "repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism." Cuba has been on the list since 1982.

The designation carries with it economic sanctions beyond those already imposed by the US trade embargo of Cuba.

Cuba's Foreign Ministry "energetically rejects the manipulation of a matter as sensitive as international terrorism by turning it into an instrument of policy against Cuba and it demands that our country be definitively excluded from this spurious, unilateral and arbitrary list," the Cuban government said in a statement late on Wednesday.

No policy change

Opponents of Washington's Cold War-era policy on Cuba had hoped the US would drop Cuba from the list this year in a sign that US President Barack Obama might want to normalise relations with the communist-ruled island.

Cuba remains on the list "because it fails to meet the statutory criteria for being removed," said Mauricio Claver-Carone, director of the US-Cuba Democracy PAC, the most powerful Cuban exile lobby group in Washington, Reuters news agency reported. He added that Cuba continued to support “terrorist” groups and harbour fugitives from US courts.

The case against Cuba has been based largely on its past support for the armed Basque separatist group ETA, which declared a unilateral ceasefire in 2011 and for Colombia's FARC rebels, who are currently in peace talks with the Colombian government which Cuba is hosting in Havana, Reuters said.

The US report says Cuba's ties to ETA "have become more distant" and it makes note of Cuba's role in the Colombian peace talks.

"There was no indication that the Cuban government provided weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups," the report said.

331

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
join our mailing list