Beijing opposes adding Cuba to US list of terror sponsors

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The designation is one of the latest in a series of last-minute moves that the Trump administration is making before Biden takes office on January 20.

Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, D-N.Y., chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, said he was "outraged" by the designation, and urged the Biden administration to reverse it when it gets into office.

Cuba's return to the list is another step in the current administration's shift away The warming of relations between Washington and Havana during the reign of Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama. Sudan was removed in 2020 as part of the Trump administration's peace agreements brokered in the Middle East.

Under President Donald Trump, the US labeled Cuba part of a "Troika of Tyranny" with Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the move in a statement, noting Cuba's harboring of U.S. fugitives as well as its support for Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Carlos Fernandez de Cossio said Monday's last-gasp move by departing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was "an insult" to the socialist island, accusing the former Central Intelligence Agency chief of "a calumny of lies".

The Trump administration accused Cuba of "repeatedly providing support for acts of global terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists".

For months now, there has been speculation about the possibility of including Cuba in the State Department's unilateral list that categorizes countries, without any authority or legitimacy, lacking genuine motivation, referring to terrorism and its consequences, and as an instrument of defamation to justify coercive economic measures against nations that resist bowing to the whims of US imperialism. The change of policy allowed Cuba to conduct banking in the United States, among other business activities.

Cuba has had a long-standing alliance with Maduro, although it has long denied it has 20,000 troops and intelligence agents in Venezuela and says it has not carried out any security operations.

Pompeo said the U.S. would continue to support the Cuban people in their desire for a democratic government and respect for human rights, including freedom of religion, expression, and association.

The relationship between the two countries has grown strong in the past two decades, with Venezuela sending Cuba oil shipments worth billions of dollars and receiving tens of thousands of employees, including medical workers.

Currently, the only countries on the state department's terrorism blacklist are Iran, Syria and North Korea.

Cuba has rejected such charges. In repudiating the allegations, President Miguel Díaz-Canel has said Cuba was the victim of terrorism. He cited an armed attack on its embassy in Washington last April as one example.

Insurance companies could also suspend coverage or jack up rates for operators of ships and aircrafts to Cuba, he said.

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