In April 2015, the Obama Administration removed Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism – a move in line with the diplomacy pursued following the release of the Cuban Five anti-terror agents from U.S. jails in 2014.
Five years later under U.S. President Donald Trump, Cuba is back on the U.S. terror sponsor list, joining Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan. The U.S. State Department notes, “Cuban’s refusal to productively engage with the Colombian government demonstrates that is not cooperating with U.S. work to support Colombia’s efforts to secure a just and lasting peace, security and opportunity for its people.”
In other words, Cuba’s diplomatic efforts in the region are clashing with the U.S. plan to maintain its terror ties with the Colombian government – described in 2002 by the former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell as meeting “Washington’s human rights standards.” Powell’s statement preceded a surge of right-wing paramilitary violence against civilians, including killings and forced disappearances. The Colombian army was also involved in false positive killings of civilians – a directive which sought to terrorise the population by increasing the statistics of people killed by government forces. The extrajudicial killings were mostly reported as “enemy combatants killed in action”. Between 2002 and 2010, Colombia’s armed forces executed 10,000 civilians out of a total of 16,724 people which the government claimed were mostly guerrillas.
Given that Colombia meets U.S. standards for state terror, it is no surprise that Cuba, which promotes internationalism and solidarity, is once again a prime target for U.S. imperialism.
Last month, the Cuban embassy in the U.S. was subjected to an armed attack. Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel denounced the terror attack and demanded a thorough investigation from the U.S. government. Bruno Rodriguez, Cuba’s Foreign Minister, has equated the U.S. response with the hostile diplomacy suffered in the past. “From the U.S. government we have only received silence, a silence that we know well, one that has accompanied violence against Cuba by groups based in U.S. territory for years.”
It was due to the U.S. collusion with anti-revolutionary Cuban dissidents in Miami that the Cuban Five were tasked with protecting the nation from terror attacks and sabotage. CIA operatives worked with known terrorists such as Luis Posada Carilles and Orlando Bosch, both of whom were involved in terror attacks against Cuba, notably the bombing of Cubana Airlines in October 1976.
Cuba, meanwhile, has pursued its revolutionary goals which run contrary to the U.S. aims for the country and the region. It has maintained its principles – outlined by Fidel – to never instigate any attack against any country in the world. Cuba has repeatedly asserted the principles of internationalist solidarity and remains steadfastly opposed to any form of intervention against any nation.
The same cannot be said for the U.S. – the country which has explicitly portrayed the correlation between humanitarian and financial aid, and human rights violations. While funding right-wing groups to destabilise socialist countries, the U.S. destabilises Cuba not only by maintaining the illegal blockade. To drive a wedge in diplomatic relations, Cuba is back on a list which the U.S. itself should be leading in prime position.
The false designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terror is also a direct means of incitement against the island, at a time when Cuba is a leading nation in efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19. Revolutionary principles and terror motives cannot be part of the same agenda. Cuba does not promote violence – hence the U.S. has no grounds upon which to discredit the revolutionary nation.