Friday, May 02, 2014

Cuba as State Sponsor of Terrorism

Here is the entire justification of the State Department's justification of having Cuba listed as a state sponsor of terrorism.

             Cuba was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982.
Cuba has long provided safe haven to members of Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).  Reports continued to indicate that Cuba’s ties to ETA have become more distant, and that about eight of the two dozen ETA members in Cuba were relocated with the cooperation of the Spanish government.  Throughout 2013, the Government of Cuba supported and hosted negotiations between the FARC and the Government of Colombia aimed at brokering a peace agreement between the two.  The Government of Cuba has facilitated the travel of FARC representatives to Cuba to participate in these negotiations, in coordination with representatives of the Governments of Colombia, Venezuela, and Norway, as well as the Red Cross.  
There was no indication that the Cuban government provided weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups.

The Cuban government continued to harbor fugitives wanted in the United States.  The Cuban government also provided support such as housing, food ration books, and medical care for these individuals.

In other words, the justification for keeping them on the list is that they are not actually sponsoring any terrorism at all. In fact, they are working with other countries to end the Colombian civil war.

When asked about this very point, the State Department's spokesperson could only say that the State Department's own report showing they were not sponsoring terrorism was not part of the process for removing them from the list. There is in fact no process at all!

QUESTION: ETA and the FARC as well. But also – but given the fact that these two groups, the threat from them is diminishing, I mean, there are peace talks going on with the FARC at the moment. Whether they’re successful I don’t know, but – but it also states in the report there was no indication that the Cuban Government provided weapons or paramilitary training to any terrorist group.
So my question is: How much longer are you going to keep Cuba on the list of state sponsors of terrorism?
MS. HARF: Well, it’s a good question that I know comes up a lot. The State Department has no current plans to remove Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. As you may or may not know, there’s not a routine process by which you re-evaluate the state sponsors like there are, for example, with our terrorist designations for terrorist groups. So you can’t get into the process any more behind the scenes, but at this point, again, no plans to remove them.
QUESTION: But it would seem if they’re not supporting terrorist groups with weapons or training, and they’re retained because of the haven that they reportedly give to ETA and FARC, it doesn’t really make much sense they’re still on the list.
MS. HARF: Again, I don’t have any more details in terms of the reasoning that goes into that. Again, there’s no regular process for re-evaluating this. If there’s a policy reason to do so based on the conditions on the ground, I know folks will. But at this point, no plans to remove them from the list.

This is nonsensical but that is the hallmark of U.S. policy toward Cuba. Remember that North Korea was actually taken off the list in 2008. Try to compare the two and it doesn't work out too well.


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