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Belize calls for U.S. to remove Cuba from SSOT list

InternationalBelize calls for U.S. to remove Cuba from SSOT list

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Fri. May 24, 2024

The Government of Belize has officially called for the removal of Cuba from the U.S. State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (SSOT). The request, made via press release on May 23, states that Belize is against what it views as an unfair label applied to Cuba by the United States.

The designation of a country as an SSOT carries with it severe sanctions and consequences, including restrictions on foreign assistance, a ban on defense exports and sales, certain controls over exports of dual-use items, and various financial and other restrictions.

Cuba was originally designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1982 due to its historical support for armed revolutionary groups, but this designation was removed in 2015. However, it was re-listed in 2021.

Belize’s statement criticized the re-listing as baseless and arbitrary, arguing that there is no evidence that Cuba is currently involved in terrorism-related activities. The press release highlighted the suffering that this designation “has caused and continues to cause to the Cuban people.”

The request from Belize aligns with its broader foreign policy and the positions of many nations within the Caribbean and Latin American regions, which have frequently called for closer ties and an end to sanctions against Cuba.

“The Government and people of Belize stand in solidarity with the Government and people of the Republic of Cuba. Belize will continue, along with the member states of the Caribbean Community, to call for lifting the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. Government on Cuba and for the removal of Cuba from the SSOT list,” the release affirmed.

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