Caricom slams US designation of Cuba as state sponsor of terrorism

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. -
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. -

CARICOM has slammed the outgoing Donald Trump administration for designating Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Trump demits office as United States President on January 20. Former US vice-president Joe Biden, who won last November's US presidential election, will be inaugurated as President on that day.

In a statement on Wednesday, Caricom said: "Cuba’s international conduct does not in any way warrant that designation.

"This further attack on the country adversely affects its international standing and its social, human and economic development and is another misguided action in addition to the unproductive, unnecessary and illegal financial and economic embargo already imposed on this Caribbean nation by the United States."

The embargo on Cuba was imposed in February 1962 by then US president John F Kennedy.

Caricom called for "the immediate review and reversal of these unjustified actions taken in regard to Cuba and looks forward to the United States moving towards normalising relations with Cuba."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism in a statement issued by the US State Department on Monday.

He said, "For decades, the Cuban government has fed, housed, and provided medical care for murderers, bomb makers, and hijackers, while many Cubans go hungry, homeless, and without basic medicine."

In addition to supporting international terrorism, Pompeo said, "The Cuban regime engages in a range of malign behaviour across the region."

As an example, Pompeo noted, "The Cuban intelligence and security apparatus has infiltrated Venezuela’s security and military forces, assisting Nicholas Maduro to maintain his stranglehold over his people while allowing terrorist organisations to operate."

He also said the Cuban government’s support for Colombia's FARC dissidents and the ELN "continues beyond Cuba’s borders as well, and the regime’s support of Maduro has created a permissive environment for international terrorists to live and thrive within Venezuela."

Expressing the US' desire to support the Cuban people's desire for a democratic government and respect for human rights, Pompeo said, "Today’s designation subjects Cuba to sanctions that penalise persons and countries engaging in certain trade with Cuba, restricts US foreign assistance, bans defence exports and sales, and imposes certain controls on exports of dual use items."

He concluded, "Until these rights and freedoms are respected, we will continue to hold the regime accountable."

On Tuesday, Caricom issued a statement condemning acts of aggression by Venezuela in its ongoing border dispute with Guyana.


"Caricom slams US designation of Cuba as state sponsor of terrorism"

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