Cuba earned its State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, Biden should think twice about removing it

Despite claims to the contrary, Cuba’s communist dictatorship was, is, and continues to be a State Sponsor of Terrorism. A Biden administration shouldn’t be so quick to lift that well-deserved designation.

Ana Rosa Quintana at The Heritage Foundation explains:

Biden Administration Shouldn’t Prematurely Lift Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation

Earlier this week, the Trump administration designated Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. Despite critics claiming this was a politically motivated policy, the facts are quite clear.

For the last two years, the Cuban regime has refused to extradite leaders of the National Liberation Army, known internationally as the ELN, back to Colombia. In 2019, this terrorist organization set off a car bomb, killing 22 police cadets and injuring 89 others. At the time, the Colombian government and the ELN were in peace talks, which the government suspended and has yet to resume.

While Cuba has refused to hand over the terrorist leaders, the ELN continues trafficking drugs and kidnaping Colombians. Beyond that, Cuba’s continued refusal to extradite wanted American terrorists and fugitives meets the legal threshold for designation.

Critics of the administration claim the policy is politically motivated because of the close timing to the presidential transition. While the D.C. policy community obsesses over U.S. politics, real-world events rarely factor in the U.S.’ electoral calendar. It is highly improbable that the ELN factored the U.S.’ 2018 midterm election with its early 2019 car bomb attack.

This designation should not come as a surprise to Cuba watchers, either. In May 2020, the State Department informed Congress that Cuba was not in compliance with its counterterrorism obligations.

Managing the Cuban regime will present a key challenge for the incoming Biden administration’s Western Hemisphere policy team. Circumstances have changed from when former President Barack Obama normalized relations and unilaterally conceded on a host of matters. Cuba continued enabling Maduro’s repressive regime, human rights on the island worsened, and dozens of U.S. and Canadian diplomats in Cuba fell victim to sonic attacks.

While allies of the incoming administration are pushing the administration to depart from the Trump administration’s maximum pressure policy, Biden’s team should leverage this opportunity.

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1 thought on “Cuba earned its State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, Biden should think twice about removing it”

  1. Love the photo. Looks like the statue of Martí is getting ready to vomit, as well he might. As for the, uh, person at far left, somebody should tell her she is not Fidel but a repulsive disgrace. Lord have mercy.

    But don’t miss the “general” at far right. It may be possible to look more like a puerco, but it’d be hard to beat this guy in the porcine department. Really, they shouldn’t allow him near cameras.

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