Blinken claims that the US won’t take Cuba off its terrorist list

According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, there are no intentions to remove Cuba from the list of countries that support terrorism, as his predecessor did just days before departing.

When being questioned by a member of the opposing Republican Party, Blinken responded at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “We are not planning to take them off the list.

“If there is to be such a review, it will be based on the legislation and based on the criteria in the law established by Congress,” Blinken added. It’s an extremely high bar.

In January 2021, Blinken’s Republican predecessor Mike Pompeo abruptly reinstated Cuba on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, greatly impeding foreign investment because businesses now run the danger of facing legal repercussions in the US.

The move culminated efforts by Republican president Donald Trump to derail a normalization bid with the communist island and longtime foe initiated by his predecessor Barack Obama.

President Joe Biden, who served as Vice President under President Obama, has mostly maintained Trump’s policy on Cuba and moved things along after a crackdown on infrequent protests.

Some pundits have attributed his stance to concerns about the Republicans’ inroads among Hispanic voters, especially in the key electoral state of Florida.

Iran, North Korea and Syria are the only other countries on the terror list.

In making his decision, Pompeo did not link Cuba to any recent terrorist operations but cited to Havana’s unwillingness to extradite leaders of Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) to the then right-wing government in Bogota.

Gustavo Petro, Colombia’s first leftist president, has agreed to recognize the ELN as a political organization and has resumed negotiations with the group.

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