May 23, 2022
We are pleased that you have recently announced new policies towards Cuba that will help ease travel restrictions and help Cuban-Americans support and connect with their families. We are writing to ask that in addition to these measures, you also take Cuba off the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
As you are aware, in the last days of the outgoing Trump administration, then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added Cuba back onto the list of state sponsors of terrorism, from where it had been just removed in 2015 by the Obama-Biden administration. After a significant review, the Obama-Biden White House certified that “(i) the Government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding 6-month period; and (ii) the Government of Cuba has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.”
The re-designation of Cuba to the list was purportedly “for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists,” presumably for serving as a co-guarantor with Norway of the Peace Accords between the Colombian government and the FARC, a known guerrilla group. The FARC’s insurgent activities years ago during the civil strife in Colombia does not fit the definition of international terrorism, and the FARC representatives were in Cuba as part of an internationally recognized process of peace negotiations supported by the United States, Norway, Colombia and other nations.
By being on the list, Cuba is subjected to a series of sanctions and international financial restrictions that limit Cuba’s ability to carry out critical financial transactions, including those needed to advance its efforts to combat the pandemic. The economic deprivations to which U.S. sanctions contribute have resulted in the mass migration of Cubans that is currently a major challenge to U.S. interests in border security, as well as to a humanitarian crisis for the very Cuban people that your administration claims to support.
Removing Cuba from the list would facilitate Cuba’s ability to access critical foreign assistance and humanitarian aid, including as it prepares to assist with vaccine distribution globally.
When the Obama-Biden Administration certified the removal of Cuba from the list in 2015, the White House you served in as Vice-President stated that the United States would “continue to have differences with the Cuban government, but our concerns over a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions fall outside the criteria that is relevant to whether to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.”
We believe the exact same situation exists today. The United States does have clear differences with the Cuban government, but we also have both national and international interests in supporting efforts to combat the coronavirus and to mitigate Cuba’s humanitarian crisis that is causing tens of thousands of Cubans to seek dangerous passage to the United States.
At the beginning of your term, you stated that Cuba’s designation on the SSOT list was under review. Given that removal from the list requires an inquiry into any terrorism-sponsored activity and a guarantee that no future support will be given before p Rd re roviding a rescission request to Congress, we request that your administration immediately complete that review and initiate proceedings to remove Cuba from the list. Such a move will advance legitimate U.S. security and humanitarian interests in a safer world, and help the future of the Cuban people.
Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect (ACERE)
Bay Area Cuba Saving Lives Committee
Boston Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Boston-Cuba Solidarity Coalition July 26th
Building Relations with Cuban Labor
Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America
Communist Party of Eastern Pa and Delaware
Democratic Socialists of America International Committee
Denver Peace Council
Doroteia Pathways Foundation
Eastside Solutionaries Collective
Florida International Solidarity Collective
Global Health Partners
Latin American Solidarity Coalition
Martinez Arts Consulting, ALC
Massachusetts Peace Action
Maui Peace Action
Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
Minnesota Cuba Committee
National Network on Cuba
New Haven Leon SCP
NJ State Industrial Union Council
Oklahoma-Cuba Friendship Committee
Peace Action (WI)
Pittsburgh-Matanzas Sister Cities Partnership
Race Matters, First Congregational UCC
Racial Justice Rising
Rockford Urban Ministries
San Juan County (WA) Democrats
Saving Lives Campaign
Solidarity Committee on the Americas (Women Against Military Madness in Minnesota)
Solidarity Info Service
St. Paul Eastside Neighbors for Peace
Teatro de la Tierra
The Law Office of Jose Pertierra
Transeair Travel LLC
Transport Workers Union local 100(ret.)
US Women and Cuba Collaboration
Veterans For Peace Chapter 113 Hawaii
Witness For Peace Solidarity Collective
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom US
Yoruba Trucking Ltd.