GUYANA, Tues. Jan. 13, 2021– On Monday, January 11, 2021, the United States of America’s State Department issued a release redesignating Cuba as a State Sponsor for Terrorism. This is one of the final acts of the Trump administration and has been received with strong criticism from countries across the world. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) released a press statement in which it denounced the designation by the US, calling the move a “unilateral decision.” Cuba had been removed from this list in 2015 by the Obama administration.
In his announcement of the blacklisting of Cuba, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, claimed that Cuba has been harboring fugitives and has been a supporter of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. In response to this announcement, the Cuban foreign minister said, “We condemn the hypocritical and cynical designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism by the US. The political opportunism of this act is recognized by everyone who has a genuine concern for the scourge of terrorism and its victims.”
As mentioned, the Caribbean Community has outrightly denounced the move by the Trump administration. A release issued by CARICOM says, “Cuba’s international conduct does not in any way warrant that designation. This further attack on the country adversely affects its international standing and its social, human and economic development and is another misguided action in addition to the unproductive, unnecessary and illegal financial and economic embargo already imposed on this Caribbean nation by the United States.”
In Belize, our Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the designation is contrary to principles of international law and wholly unlawful. “I think that that is a wholly unlawful and regrettable declaration. We believe that it is prejudicial to the interest of Cuba. We believe it is contrary to international law. We do not support it; in fact, we deplore it in the strongest possible terms. We do not believe that Cuba fits the unilateral criteria established by the United States for a country to be designated as a supporter of terrorism, so we totally disassociate ourselves with it and deplore it in the strongest terms.” Hon. Eamon Courtenay said.