The US government has put Cuba back on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday that it had decided to do so, because Cuba “offers terrorists a refuge” and thus supports “international terrorist acts”.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argues that Havana is home to American fugitives, including Joanne Chesimard. She has been convicted in the United States for the murder of a soldier.
Another reason is that Cuba is refusing to heed a Colombian extradition request for militia members linked to a fatal 2019 bombing in Colombia.
“With this move, we want to once again hold the Cuban government to account and send a clear message: the Castro regime must stop its support for international terrorism and undermining US justice,” Pompeo said.
The communist-ruled Caribbean country not far from the coast of Florida was taken off the terrorism list in 2015 under the Obama administration. The move by outgoing US President Donald Trump’s administration will make it more difficult for his successor Joe Biden to restore diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba.
The US terrorism list also includes Syria, Iran and North Korea. Cuba was also on it between 1982 and 2015.