US designates Cuba as ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism’

Washington: The US has added Cuba to the list of “State Sponsor of Terrorism”, a move to constrain the incoming Joe Biden administration’s efforts to improve relations with Havana.

In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Cuba was designated for “repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists”, Xinhua news agency reported.

The statement cited that Cuba harbored several US fugitives from justice and supported

According to the statement, the designation would result in sanctions that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with Cuba; restrict US foreign assistance; ban defense exports and sales; and impose certain controls on exports of dual-use items.

In addition to Cuba, the State Department currently lists Syria, Iran and North Korea as state sponsors of terrorism.

President-elect Joe Biden previously slammed Trump’s policies on Cuba, saying he would “try to reverse the failed Trump policies that inflicted harm on Cubans and their families”.

Cuba had been placed on the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 1982.

In March 2016, Barack Obama became the first sitting US President to visit Cuba since 1928 following the warming of bilateral relations that began in December 2014, ending a 54-year stretch of hostility.

But tensions between Cuba and the US worsened after Trump took office in 2014.

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