Trump administration names Cuba a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’

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The Trump administration has re-listed Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” reversing a decision made by the Obama administration in 2015 as part of an effort to improve relations with the country.

“The Trump Administration has been focused from the start on denying the Castro regime the resources it uses to oppress its people at home, and countering its malign interference in Venezuela and the rest of the Western Hemisphere,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement Monday, referring to Raúl Castro. “With this action, we will once again hold Cuba’s government accountable and send a clear message: the Castro regime must end its support for international terrorism and subversion of U.S. justice.”

The move, which comes a little over a week before President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office, puts Cuba on a list with countries like Syria, Iran and North Korea. It subjects Havana to new sanctions, including restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance and bans on defense exports and sales.

In his statement, Pompeo accused Cuba of harboring “murderers, bombmakers, and hijackers” as justification for the move. He used as one example the country’s decision to provide refuge for an American convicted of killing a state trooper in 1973.

The Trump administration’s decision comes two months after Biden lost to President Trump in the state of Florida, which has a large Latino population and where Republicans have sought to paint Democrats as socialists.

The administration is also moving to designate Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a terrorist organization, a decision that has drawn outrage from humanitarian aid organizations critical of the U.S.’s role in the Saudi Arabia-led war in that country.

Tags Cuba Donald Trump Florida Havana Joe Biden Mike Pompeo State Department state sponsor of terrorism
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