Cuba and Countries Promoting Terrorism

By Jesús Arboleya Cervera (Progreso Weekly)

Foto: Caridad
Foto: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES – Every year, the U.S. Department of State publishes a list of “countries that promote terrorism” that serves as a basis for Washington’s policy toward them. The list includes a set of sanctions established by Congress.

Many are the questions that arise from this practice. In the first place, the very concept of “terrorism” has yet to be defined by the international organizations of justice and the United Nations, due to the political manipulation to which it is subjected.

In other words, the U.S. government describes as “terrorist” whoever it sees fit and omits others who might deserve the description but whose inclusion is inconvenient. For example, Afghanistan was invaded in 2002 at the start of the “world war against terrorism,” yet it doesn’t appear on the list.

Many believe that the United States itself could be on the list, if the list were made up with rigor and fairness. In sum, more than a moral condemnation, the list of countries that promote terrorism is a boast of unilateral power, whose true importance is to announce where the shots are coming from.

terror2Cuba has been included since 1982 because of its support for the revolutionary movements in Central America. It is revealing that it was precisely the administration of Ronald Reagan that took the initiative, while at the same time he was promoting a “low-intensity” war in the region that led to his condemnation in the International Court of Justice. Later, he was rebuked by Congress itself, due to the Iran-Contra scandal.

Anyhow, even after those conflicts were over, Cuba remained on the grim list. Other excuses were used then, such as saying that Cuba sheltered fugitives of U.S. justice in the 1970s, gave refuge to members of the Basque group ETA, and “offered medical aid and political assistance” to combatants in the Colombian FARC.

Various international analysts, legal institutions and American politicians have for years refuted the legal pertinence of those arguments, so I’ll simply quote recent statements by Congressman Jim McGovern, in which he made clear that the abovementioned fugitives never committed terrorist acts and that the ETA members are in Cuba at the request of the Spanish government itself.

As if that weren’t enough, Havana at present is the site for the peace talks between the Colombian guerrillas and the Colombian government, as it has been previously, throughout the years.

terror3The Congressman also said that, due to the state of relations between the two countries, there are no extradition accords that justify that complaint. I should add that, if negotiations to that effect were to begin (as the Cuban government once proposed), the list submitted by Cuba would include hundreds of people who have actually committed terrorist acts against Cuba, among them the notorious Luis Posada Carriles.

In truth, the inclusion of Cuba on the list of countries that promote terrorism cannot withstand any serious scrutiny. Years ago, due to the weight of reality, Cuba abandoned the practice of supporting armed revolutionary movements, whose denomination as “terrorists,” from a historic perspective, is as questionable as the American list.

But that’s not what the problem is about. Cuba’s inclusion on the list is an excuse to keep up the belligerence promoted by the American far right, especially the Cuban-American groups that serve as activists in Congress and various public opinion media in that country. Even if Raúl Castro became Mahatma Gandhi, those people would consider him a terrorist anyway.

The current debate has to do with the U.S. policy toward Cuba in the current circumstances. On one side are those who advocate maintaining the economic blockade and as many punitive measures as possible; on the other, those who posit that this policy is counterproductive for U.S. interests. It should be said that, except for some exceptions, the argument is the same: the efficacy of the method to achieve a “regime change” on the island. It has nothing to do with the truth.

terror4For those who promote change, Cuba’s elimination from the list constitutes one of the most favorable targets. It is not based on reality; its arbitrariness affects the credibility of Washington’s policy against terrorism. Also, the decision, in whatever direction, rests entirely on the government, including the State Department, without involving the President directly.

This does not mean that it will be a simple task. There will be a big hubbub from the conservatives; more than one functionary will be subjected to third-degree interrogations in Congress; some laws and appointments will be used as exchange currency to revert the decision. We shall then see if Obama’s administration is willing to face the storm in order to proceed with the change it proposes.

As a result, for more than its practical importance, inasmuch as the sanctions against the island exceed what’s established in the provisions, Cuba’s elimination from the list of countries that promote terrorism would serve as an indicator of this willingness, placing us on a stage that’s qualitatively different, where the adoption of more transcendental measures could be possible.

Some in Cuba believe – with reason – that what’s proposed is a bear hug. I think a hug is preferable to a bite. Besides, wishes don’t necessarily come true, and the simple fact of recognizing that Washington’s current policy toward Cuba is not viable shows us how times have changed and proves that our resistance was worthwhile, as phrased by Manuel Calviño, a famous Cuban psychologist on his television program.

24 thoughts on “Cuba and Countries Promoting Terrorism

  • Moses: your statement that neither your country ( suppose the US) nor Israel use military force…etc. just makes me laugh. Hope you don`t mean that seriously

  • I can not believe Obama has done nothing to stop the stupid blockade to Cuba. This is only hurting the Cuban people, not the system!!! Didn’t Obama’s ancestors were discriminated by being black?? This is at least what Cuba has eliminated from his country, the bigotry and racism……

  • And again, I DID NOT claim that the US ‘faked’ 9/11 – notice the big fat IF in the “(…) IF that was not indeed an inside job as (…) writer Phillip Marshall claimed”. Learn how to read. If you care, the only thing I REALLY don’t buy from the official story is the ‘pancake theory’ of how the towers collapsed.

  • You have no credibility since aeons ago. If you cared to even bother reading (I know, I know, must be hard to interpret a text) those very basic articles that just point out the tip of the iceberg instead of relying on Fox News and the likes, you’ll see that it in fact makes a lot of sense. It’s just way too much ‘coincidence’ that the production of opium poppies in Afghanistan reduced from 3,300 tons in 2000 to 185 tons in 2001 and then raised to 3,400 tons in 2002.

  • some hillarious comments here…..I will ONLY say that NO way Cuba can be on list of terrorist states….well I guess they can, depending who makes the list…but no way they should be

  • Get a grip. You just claimed the US faked 9-11 and invaded Afghanistan to take control of the opium trade. That’s not only ridiculous, it’s bat-sh*t crazy. Nothing you can write from now on will have any credibility.

    Honestly Luis… for the opium poppies? Really???

  • You twist what ‘mentally colonized’ means. And another evidence that you are really not from Canada because the educational system there is good enough not to produce functional illiterates.

    Again, the article that wasn’t posted about the spoils of war and proof that Iraq has no sovereignty over their oil reserves anymore and that the war was indeed about pillaging natural resources:

  • I meant “You only invaded Afghanistan (…) now it produces more than 90% worldwide”.

    90% of the entire global production. If you’ve taken a look at those basic material I linked… but wait – I forgot you cannot even read!

  • Luis, if you think the US invaded Afghanistan to seize control of the poppy crop, you are insane. Opium poppies grow almost anywhere. The US and France grow it for the pharmaceutical industry. We should have guessed you’re a 9-11 conspiracy fantasist.

    If the US invaded Iraq to get the oil, why did they help write a Constitution for Iraq which guarantees the oil fields belong to Iraq for ever and can never be sold?

  • Given the fact you seem incapable of writing a comment without mentioning your favourite bogeyman, it is you who are mentally colonized by America. The USA is living in your head rent free.

  • See the arrogance again, see the the ‘big stick’ attitute – ‘we still have some very big guns’. See all the foolish McCarthyism with ‘me and North Korea’.

    Your country is the most warmongering entity in the world. This is not an empty accusation. It is a fact. You cannot deny it. And only the most naive propagandist would be blind enough to not see the economic and geopolitical interests of the US in those recent wars – your ‘truth’ is just as thin as air. Just a bunch of stupid links to get you started:

    Yes, it was ALL about heroin trade and oil.

    You think you own the world. You think you are the world’s police. Nevermind. Soon, one day this hegemony will end.

  • Even if you are born Canadian, you are mentally colonized.

    No, you don’t seem to differentiate an ‘OR’ with an ‘AND’ and thus, cannot read.

  • My country is Canada. But the fact that the US was wrong & exagerrated about Iraqi WMD in no way negates the fact you were in error on the other two points.

  • It is at this point, even folks like me who will abide the name-calling and the threats, give an obliging green light to the hawks who would like nothing better than to live up to accusations of warmongering that people like you love to cast about when you can’t win on the facts. Since you can’t prove that the US went to Iraq for the oil, why say so? Since you have no evidence we were really after the heroin trade in Afghanistan, why make blind accusations? Curse us if you will Luis but at the end of the day, for the time being, when civility fails we still have some very big guns. Keep an eye on North Korea. You seem to have much in common with them.

  • Because the so powerful ‘Al Qaeda’ – which translates to ‘the depot’ – was a group with a bit more than a dozen people for the US government to use as a scape goat for their TERRORIST actions.

    The people responsible for the 9/11 attacks – if that was not indeed an inside job as the recently MURDERED writer Phillip Marshall (alongside his wife and daughters) claimed – were from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

    Fuck you America. You were never in Afghanistan to get Osama Bin Laden. You were there for the Opium Poppy. You only invaded Pakistan when the Taliban decided to eliminate their fields. And guess what? Now it produces more than 90% of it worldwide. And you were in Iraq for the Oil. Everybody knows this, even the propagandists who say otherwise.

  • Only one point: you don’t know how to READ, which part of ‘or having weapons of mass destruction stored and ready for launch?’ do you fail to understand?

    Come on, call me ignorant and I’ll cut off your last leg, damned Monty Python Black Knight. Your country is a terrorist country. This is a FACT and no propaganda will ever change it.

  • Luis, you don’t know what you’re talking about. How ’bout this: I will at least give you the benefit of the doubt should we disagree about recent events led by or occurring in Brazil where you say you live and you do the same for me here in the US? In Afghanistan we demanded that Al Qaeda turn over Usama Bin Laden who had claimed credit for 9/11 or we would come and get him. They had a least 30 days to comply. It took ten years and a trillion dollars to find him but America made good on our word. With regards to Iraq, admittedly in error and under false pretenses, we went to the UN and received not one but two resolutions and extended ample warning to Sadam Hussein. His response was “the mother of all wars”. Hahaha, remember that? He ended up hiding in a hole in the ground. I will repeat what I said. If the US wants to blow your sh*t up, we will give you plenty of warning. TERRORISTS just fly airplanes into buildings or leave IEDs alongside roads. There is a huge difference between the two.

  • Two points Luis, the first proves you ignorant, the second shows you as irrelevant.

    1. Afghanistan was indeed host to Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, who boasted of their involvement in 9-11. The US asked thenTaliban govt to hand them over. The Taliban refused.

    2. The US govt never claimed Iraq was involved in 9-11.

  • Moses, please do a reality check before even talking. See the whole past decade for example. What ‘negotiations’ have the US done before invading Afghanistan and Iraq without any evidence (alas, with fabricated evidence to put up a stage in the UN) of their involvement in 9/11 or having weapons of mass destruction stored and ready for launch? No one gets fooled by the US Secretary of State anymore.

  • If the Cuban government has truly given up their support for terrorist groups, that is a good thing. However, one must ask, what then is the basis of Cuba’s growing relationship with Iran & Syria, two countries who continue to support terrorism around the world?

    Furthermore, while Cuba is hosting negotiations between the Colombian gov’t and FARC, Castro has supported FARC in the past, and there are reports that the Chavez govt of Venezuela provided support to FARC. I suspect these are the reasons the US continues to keep Cuba on the list of terrorism supporting countries.

  • One man’s ‘terrorist’ is another man’s ‘freedom fighter’. In practice what you say seems true. But the truth is neither my country nor Israel use miitary force to deny another country their human rights without first trying to resolve differences peacefully. Terrorists, as a rule, show no interest in peaceful negociations up front. Like FARC, only when faced with defeat, are terrorists interested in sitting down to talk.

  • Definition: Terrorism

    “The unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civil population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”

    – US Code of Federal Regulations, [28 Section 0.85]

    So the only difference between war and terrorism is the legal status in the country of the invader. Therefore, the US and Israel are the biggest terrorist countries in the world, because they define who the terrorists are while practicing exactly what is described in the CFR.

  • Unless there is some hidden activity known only to the intelligence services, it would appear that while Cuba once legitimately belonged on that list of states that sponsor terrorism, their extraterritorial activities has stopped and their in-country support is at a minimum at best. To maintain the credibility of the list, which does include countries which inarguably sponsor terrrorism, Cuba’s name should be removed.

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