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Remove Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List

Cuba’s addition to the State Sponsors of Terrorism (SSOT) list – in the waning days of the Trump administration – was politically motivated and has no national security justification. Given the negative impact on the well-being of the Cuban people, the Biden administration must be pushed to remove Cuba from the SSOT list now.

NO BASIS FOR CUBA’S INCLUSION 

Cuba was included on the list because it “refused Colombia’s request to extradite 10 ELN (National Liberation Army) leaders living in Havana” and because it “harbors U.S. fugitives.”

Regarding the Colombia claim:

  • Cuba was hosting peace talks between the Colombian government and ELN – the ELN negotiators were granted safe haven as part of the peace process
  • Even the State Department admits Cuba’s extradition refusal was due to “peace negotiation protocols” and that Colombia subsequently dropped the extradition requests
  • Colombian President Gustavo Petro characterized the original extradition request as “a betrayal of previous agreements signed in the form of protocols with Colombia, Cuba and Norway.”

Regarding U.S. fugitives:

The Cuban government engaged in talks with the U.S. on law enforcement cooperation in January 2023, sent a Border Guard delegation to visit the U.S. in March 2023 and held talks with the U.S. on anti-terror measures in April 2023. Would the U.S. do all this with a real sponsor of terror?

IMPACTS
 

BROKEN PROMISES?

In his 2020 campaign, President Biden promised he “would go back” to the Obama policy of engagement. His incoming administration then “pledged to Congress” it would start the process of removing Cuba from the SSOT list, even telling members of Congress that the review was ongoing. In December 2023, three years after these promises were made, The Intercept reported that the review process has not even begun!

PRESSURING THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION
 

In December 2021, 114 members of Congress – the majority of House Democrats – called on President Biden to “remove Cuba from the list.” Since that time, other Congressional letters criticized the designation as “baseless” and “vindictive”. As voters, we welcome this leadership and ask that Congress do more. According to the Congressional Research Service, Cuba could be de-listed in as little as 45 days. Now is the time to demand action from the White House!

INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT

Watch a video by Belly of the Beast about the international community’s support for removing Cuba from the SSOT list! 

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The Alliance For Cuba Engagement And Respect

The people of Cuba have long been suffering under an economic, commercial and financial embargo by the United States that places restrictions on food, medicine, and economic support from relatives. President Trump not only reversed President Obama’s move to strengthen relations but further tightened sanctions against Cuba. Despite high hopes, President Biden has so far failed to bring about a substantive improvement in relations. After six decades of failed policy, it is time to demand a different path forward.

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