At a time when Cuba will carry out a profound reform to attract foreign investors, the outgoing Trump administration seems to want to deal the island one last blow by putting it back on the list of countries supporting terrorism.
Cuba criticized on December 30 the attempts of the United States to put the island back on its list of countries supporting terrorism. A measure currently being considered by the Trump administration according to American media, and which could complicate the diplomacy of President-elect Joe Biden, but especially the profound economic reform that Cuba is preparing to put in place on January 1.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to take this measure, which is very penalizing in terms of foreign investment, before the end of Donald Trump’s mandate on January 20, 2021, according to a person familiar with the matter. The New York Times The information reported, followed by CNN, which says Mike Pompeo is expected to take the step “in the next few days”, citing an anonymous official.
“I denounce the maneuvers of Secretary of State Pompeo to include Cuba on the list of states supporting terrorism to please the anti-Cuban minority in Florida,” tweeted the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodriguez.
This weapon pass comes a few days before the 60th anniversary, on January 3, of the breakdown of diplomatic relations between the two countries after the Cuban revolution. Under the leadership of Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro, the United States and Cuba had made a historic rapprochement which, in 2015, enabled the restoration of diplomatic relations and the removal from the blacklist.
But after Donald Trump arrived at the White House in 2017, his administration tightened the embargo imposed on Cuba since 1962, citing human rights violations in Cuba and Havana’s support for the Chavista government of Venezuela. .
Prevent Cuba from emerging from the economic crisis?
This threat to put Cuba back on the list of countries supporting terrorism comes at a time when the socialist island is preparing to implement a profound reform aimed at “updating” its economy so as to make it more readable for foreign investors. . The approach could be undermined by such a decision by the United States.
Joe Biden, former vice president of Barack Obama, announced during the campaign that he would move quickly to “remove Trump’s restrictions on money transfers and travel” that hurt Cubans and separate families.
If Mike Pompeo were to put the island back on the blacklist, Joe Biden could remove it again, but his ministry would then have to undertake a formal analysis so that it can declare that the country has not had any terrorist links during for the past six months.
A spokesperson said the State Department “is not discussing any deliberations or potential deliberations regarding the placement” of a country on the list, AFP reports. Only three countries are still listed after Sudan’s withdrawal last month: Iran, North Korea and Syria.
Meriem Laribi, with AFP