US Takes Cuba Off Uncooperative In Fighting Terrorism List, Keeps Them On State Sponsors Of Terrorism List

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Mariane Angela Contributor
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The United States has taken a diplomatic step by removing Cuba from its list of countries “not cooperating fully” with its counterterrorism efforts, as confirmed by a State Department official Wednesday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the removal of Cuba from the State Department’s list of countries deemed not fully cooperative in counterterrorism efforts. This decision was influenced by renewed collaborations between Cuban and U.S. law enforcement, particularly in the areas of counterterrorism, according to The Associated Press (AP). This decision reflects an improved bilateral relationship marked by the resumption of law enforcement cooperation between the two nations, which led the U.S. to reassess Cuba’s previous designation as non-cooperative.

The 2022 designation of Cuba as “not fully cooperating” with U.S. counterterrorism efforts was influenced by Cuba’s refusal to engage with Colombia regarding the extradition of members of the National Liberation Army, a designated terrorist organization, AP reported. This situation evolved due to Colombia dropping its arrest warrants for these National Liberation Army members and the resumption of law enforcement cooperation between the U.S. and Cuba. These changes could potentially impact Cuba’s designation in future assessments.

The list maintained by the State Department is integral to U.S. laws on arms exports, identifying countries perceived as not fully cooperative in counterterrorism. Despite Cuba’s removal from this list, North Korea, Syria, Iran and Venezuela remain, AP stated. (RELATED: ‘Down With Communism’: Cuban Freedom Rally Takes Place In Front Of White House)

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez welcomed the decision but emphasized more steps could be taken to fully normalize relations.

“The US has just admitted what is well known to everyone: #Cuba fully cooperates with efforts against terrorism,” Rodríguez said on Twitter. “Any political manipulation of this issue must cease. Cuba’s arbitrary and unjust inclusion in the list of States sponsors of terrorism must end.”