The Canadian Network on Cuba recognizes that Cuba has been removed from the list of countries that “do not fully cooperate against terrorism.” We hope this is a first step towards swiftly removing Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (SSOT), a list which is kept by the U.S. government for no other reason than to demonize nations that remain defiant in the face of U.S. imperialism and refuse to be entrapped into the snare of neocolonialism. The inclusion of a country on one of these arbitrary lists and not the other is a perfect example of imperialism’s contradictory nature.  

One cannot help but recoil at the arrogance with which the United States bestows itself with the authority to arbitrarily choose who is and who is not supporting terrorism. Cuba has been fighting terrorism at home, in its geographical region and across the world since the Revolution triumphed in 1959, regardless of whether the U.S. recognizes it. As a statement by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 16th, 2024, put it: “It is not enough to acknowledge that Cuba fully cooperates with the United States. Cuba does so with the entire international community as well.”  

The United States claims that Cuba continues to be a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ for its refusal to extradite members of the Colombian guerilla organization, the ELN. However, Cuba was hosting peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the guerilla group, and acted in full accordance with its protocols. Furthermore, Colombian President, Gustavo Petro, has called for Cuba’s removal from the SSOT list. The U.S. also claims that Cuba belongs on this list for providing a safe haven to U.S. fugitives, in particular Assata Shakur, who fled wrongful imprisonment in 1987. But according to the U.S.’s own definition, this does not meet the criteria for supporting terrorism.  

Perhaps the most insulting aspect of Cuba’s continued inclusion on the list of state sponsors of terrorism is the fact that the U.S. has a well-documented history of supporting terrorism, including but not limited to Project Gladio, Mujahideen, Nicaraguan contras, and ISIS. The greatest irony of all, however, is the 6 decades of terrorism that the United States has supported against the Cuban people, such as the Bay of Pigs invasion, the bombing of Cubana Flight 455 and the deadly explosions at 3 Cuban hotels in 1997.   

The continued inclusion of Cuba on the SSOT list is deeply unpopular globally, as well as among the peoples of Canada and the United States. Now that the contradiction of the U.S. policy towards Cuba is on full display, we strongly urge the government of the United States to complete the process it started by acknowledging Cuba’s cooperation in fighting terrorism and resolve this contradiction by removing Cuba from the SSOT list. 



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