The Secretary of State for the United States, Antony Blinken Thursday said there were no plans to remove Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, a move made by his predecessor days before leaving.
“We are not planning to remove them from the list,” Blinken said at the House Foreign Affairs Committee after a question from a lawmaker of the rival Republican Party.
“If there is to be such a review, it will be based on the law and based on the criteria in the law established by Congress,” Blinken said. It’s a very high bar.”
Blinken Republican predecessor, Mike Pompeo, in January 2021 abruptly returned Cuba to the state sponsors of terrorism list, which severely hampers foreign investment as companies risk legal consequences in the
The move capped efforts by president Donald Trump to reverse a normalisation bid with the communist island and longtime adversary launched by his predecessor Barack Obama.
Cuba Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said Blinken’s remarks were no surprise.
“Secretary Blinken confirms the obvious: the current U S. administration never intended to rescind Trump’s unjust designation of #Cuba as a State sponsor of terrorism, because this was not convenient to its criminal
economic suffocation policy,” Rodriguez tweeted.
President Joe Biden, who was Obama’s vice president, has mostly kept in place Trump’s policies on Cuba and took further action after a crackdown on rare protests.
Some political analysts have ascribed his stance to concerns about the Republican’s inroads among Hispanic voters, particularly in the key electoral state of Florida.
lran, North Korea and Syria are the only other countries on the terror list.