According to several reports, the State Department is considering designating Cuba as a state sponsor of terror. The move would be another step by the Trump administration to reverse efforts to normalize relations made by President Obama, who removed Cuba from the terror list in 2015.
An unnamed Trump administration official told CNN that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to make the designation within the coming days. Currently, only Iran, North Korea, and Syria are on the list. Sudan was recently removed as part of an agreement to normalize relations with Israel.
Throughout his term, President Trump has reversed Obama’s efforts to normalize with Cuba by reimposing restrictions on travel, investments, and exports of Cuban liquor and cigars.
The terror designation could also hobble the incoming Biden administration’s plans to bring back Obama-era policies and move the US closer to normalizing with Cuba. Removing Cuba from the terror list would require a formal review from the State Department and the approval of Congress, a process that could take months.
The Trump administration often blames Cuba for Washington’s failed regime change effort in Venezuela. Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua form what Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton dubbed the “Troika of Tyranny.”