Monday, March 18, 2013

US newspaper calls for Cuba to be removed from countries supporting terrorism list

The United States should exclude Cuba from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, according to an editorial in the Los Angeles Times.

"Cuba remains on the list … because it disagrees with the United States’ approach to fighting international terrorism, not because it supports terrorism," it states.

The State Department has confirmed that it has no plans to remove Cuba from the list. But Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who recently led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Havana, "is urging President Obama to consider a range of policy changes toward Cuba, including delisting it, which would not require congressional approval," the newspaper noted.

"Moreover, keeping Cuba on the list undermines Washington's credibility in Latin America," the LA Times comments.

The editorial highlighted Cuba’s condemnation of the September 11 attacks and the fact that the country is currently hosting peace talks between the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Army of the People) and the government of Juan Manuel Santos.

This list and other like it, through which the U.S. government assumes the illegitimate right to evaluate the conduct of other countries, has political motivations, in that it allows the administration to justify the anti-Cuba blockade policy.

Obama: Lift the Cuban Embargo ~> sign petition here 

Sanctions implemented against a state sponsoring terrorism include a ban on: unlicensed financial transactions; direct U.S. government financial and technical aid; exports of certain merchandise such as heavy industrial products, high tech equipment and dual-use products; munitions transfers; and the denial of temporary visas to nationals from the country concerned, without a special decision from the Secretary of State.