Communist country continues to sponsor terror groups around the world
By Daniel Wiser, Washington Free Beacon
Cuba’s communist government is demanding its removal from a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism despite its continued support for regimes that sponsor terrorism worldwide.
Cuba was designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1982 and remained so in the State Department’s release this week of its most recent country reports on terrorism.
The report noted that Cuba “has long provided safe haven” to members of the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) separatist group in Spain, as well as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Both are still considered terrorist groups by the United States and European Union but have participated in peace talks in recent years. Cuba also continues to “harbor fugitives wanted in the United States,” the report added.
The report did not mention Cuba’s continued support for terrorism and violent repression directed by the governments of Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, and Russia. Still, Cuba’s Foreign Ministry said it should be taken off the list.
“The Foreign Ministry energetically rejects the manipulation of a matter as sensitive as international terrorism by turning it into an instrument of policy against Cuba and it demands that our country be definitively excluded from this spurious, unilateral and arbitrary list,” the government said in a statement.
The State Department responded that it had “no current plans” to remove Cuba from the list.
Cuba has most recently come under scrutiny for its role in advising the Venezuelan military. The communist island has reportedly sent hundreds of military advisers to Venezuela in exchange for about 100,000 barrels of oil a day.
Critics say the current repression of protesters by Venezuela’s government is reminiscent of the “Cuban model.” Trained and well-armed civilian groups known as “Bolivarian Circles” or “colectivos”—akin to the Castros’ “committees to defend the revolution”—are accused of killing several protesters in the last three months. About 40 people total have died in the demonstrations against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
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