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Trump administration names Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism

January 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 47.2%. 2 min read.

The Trump administration has designated Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday, reversing an Obama-era decision to remove the label and potentially hindering the efforts of incoming president Joe Biden to normalize relations with the country.

(CNN)The Trump administration has designated Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday, reversing an Obama-era decision to remove the label and potentially hindering the efforts of incoming president Joe Biden to normalize relations with the country.

Pompeo said the State Department gave Cuba the designation "for repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists," accusing the nation of reneging on its commitments made when President Barack Obama took them off the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 2015.

Cuba rejoins just three other countries on the list of state sponsors of terrorism -- Iran, North Korea and Syria.

The administration did not provide any evidence that Cuba has sponsored terror attacks.

Cuba was removed from the state sponsors of terrorism list in 2015 amid Obama's efforts to restore ties between Washington and Havana.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla tweeted Monday: "We condemn the hypocritical and cynical designation of #Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, announced by the US.

A US diplomat with experience on Cuba issues told CNN last month that "there simply was not a good argument to be made that Cuba actually sponsored terrorism," when plans to make the change were first reported.

Although the designation would likely get overturned by the incoming Biden administration, the diplomat said that it could do "real damage to our credibility on state sponsorship of terrorism. "

William LeoGrande, an expert of Latin America and professor at American University, said that upon entering the White House, Biden could quickly begin the process of again removing Cuba from the terrorism list and that the designation would have little practical impact as Cuba is already subject to wide-ranging US financial sanctions.

"Almost all of the sanctions that a country suffers from being on the terrorism list are already imposed on Cuba as part of the broader embargo," he said.

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