The United States is grasping at straws in justifying the continued economic embargo on Cuba by claiming the country is in a category with Iran, Sudan, and Syria as officially recognized state sponsors of terrorism.
Responding to press reports that Obama’s new Secretary of State John Kerry was considering lifting the harsh economic sanctions on Cuba, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland such rumors are false.
“This department has no current plans to remove Cuba from the state sponsor of terrorism list,” said Nuland. “We review this every year, and at the current moment we — when the last review was done in 2012 –didn’t see cause to remove them.”
Cuba has elicited particular ire from Washington ever since the Eisenhower administration, a byproduct of Cold War justifications for US grand strategy, which seeks to maintain hegemony and crush economic, geo-political, or ideological defiance.
The claim of being a state sponsor of terrorism is a mere pretext, a blanket accusation Washington applies to any government it doesn’t like (and one that ignores America’s own history of supporting and carrying out international terrorism). A State Department report last year found that Cuba’s ties to so-called terrorist groups are tenuous at best.
Cuba has repeatedly reached out Washington, as President Raul Castro did last summer, insisting that Cuba “is willing to mend fences with bitter Cold War foe the United States and sit down to discuss anything, as long as it is a conversation between equals,” The Associated Press reported.
“Any day they want, the table is set. This has already been said through diplomatic channels,” Castro said. “If they want to talk, we will talk.”
But the Obama administration has refused, intent on continuing to isolate Cuba and maintain the embargo.