The United States government has once again included Cuba in the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, according to the State Department’s 2022 report on “terrorism in the world.” Alongside North Korea, Iran, and Syria, Cuba has been subjected to a series of sanctions by Washington, including restrictions on the sale of weapons, high controls on exports, and increased visa requirements, which have specifically affected Cubans with Spanish citizenship.
The report also highlights that the Cuban government did not respond formally to Colombia’s extradition requests for ELN leaders Pablo Tejada and Pablo Beltrán. Additionally, the island nation continues to harbor several fugitives from US justice wanted on charges related to political violence, some of whom have resided in Cuba for decades.
This is not the first time Cuba has been included in the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. It was first listed in 1982 and remained on the list until 2015 when President Barack Obama lifted the restriction as part of the thaw policy towards the island. However, it was once again included almost at the end of Donald Trump’s term in 2021, after the State Department determined that Cuba had repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism since its designation had been rescinded.
Despite recent diplomatic approaches and efforts to establish common strategies on immigration and security issues, including visits by high-level delegations to Havana, Cuba continues to be included in the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. The Biden administration has maintained the island’s inclusion, despite Havana’s claims that it has serious economic implications for Cuba.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez have repeatedly demanded that the United States remove the country from the list, as they do not recognize the statements made by the US government and argue that inclusion in this category has severe economic implications for the Caribbean nation.