The Cuban government said it “condemns” the renewed US designation of the island as a sponsor of terrorism, calling the move “fraudulent.”
Cuba’s foreign ministry said the US announcement Monday only serves to impose more restrictions on the socialist country and damage any prospects of a reconciliation between the two rival nations, the communist party newspaper Granma reported.
“Cuba is not a state sponsor of terrorism, a truth recognized by all,” the ministry said. “The official and well-known policy, and the impeccable conduct or our country, is the rejection of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations — in particular state terrorism, against whoever and wherever it is committed.”
The government claimed that it is Cuba who has been the victim of state-sponsored terrorism, claiming US-backed assaults on the island have killed nearly 3,500 Cubans and left more than 2,000 “disabled,” Granma said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that Cuba was being returned to the terror-sponsor list due to intelligence that suggests the country has intervened in Venezuela “and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.”
The US also claims that Cuba has harbored known terrorists, including members of Colombia’s National Liberation Army and Joanne Chesimard, who is sought for the 1973 execution of a New Jersey state trooper.
US relations with Cuba soured after the country’s 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro, who declared the island a Marxist-Leninist state. The US then imposed an economic embargo on Cuba which remained in place well beyond the Cold War.
In 2015, former President Barack Obama lifted the terror designation in an attempt at warmer relations between the two countries — a move undone by this week.