State Department Under Scrutiny for Removing Cuba From List of Uncooperative Countries on Counterterrorism

State Department Under Scrutiny for Removing Cuba From List of Uncooperative Countries on Counterterrorism

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
May 16, 2024

The Biden Administration has reportedly decided to remove Cuba from a list of countries identified as uncooperative with the US’ counterrorism efforts.

According to a State Department official, the resumption of law enforcement cooperation between Cuba and the U.S. was one of the reasons for removing the designation.

The designation removal was warily welcomed by Cuba.

Cuban Dictator Miguel Diaz Canel claimed the US should do more and also “remove Cuba from the State Department's arbitrary (state sponsors of terrorism) list and end the related coercive economic measures.”

The move by the State Department is symbolizes President Joe Biden’s goals of normalizing relations with Cuba.

Despite having largely preserved many Trump-era Cuban sanctions, President Biden has been accused of failing to enforce the same.

Under President Donald Trump’s administration, the  U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) applied a series of measures to enforce sanctions on Cuba.

The measures were intended to prevent opaque private entities surreptitiously tied to the Cuban regime from skirting sanctions targeted at Cuba.

Chief among such entities is GRUPO DE ADMINISTRACION EMPRESARIAL S.A. (GAESA), which conservatives have claimed is benefitting from Biden policy alterations since President Donald Trump’s departure.

Conservative lawmakers have rejected Biden’s latest conciliatory move towards Cuba.

US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) was alarmed by Biden’s decision to remove Cuba’s designation and asked the State Department for answers.

“I’ve reached out to the state department to get answers on this absurd move,” said Senator Rubio. “The criminal and illegitimate regime in Hasán supports foreign terrorist organizations in Colombia, and Harbors ETA terrorists as well as fugitives wanted by American courts.”

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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