US designation of Cuba ‘a cynical and hypocritical act’, says foreign affairs minister

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By Caribbean News Global contributor

HAVANA, Cuba  – Following US State Department designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism for repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists, the ministry of foreign affairs of the Republic of Cuba has offered a retort.

According to the US State Department,“ The Trump administration has been focused from the start on denying the Castro regime the resources it uses to oppress its people at home, and countering its malign interference in Venezuela and the rest of the Western Hemisphere. With this action, we will once again hold Cuba’s government accountable and send a clear message: the Castro regime must end its support for international terrorism and subversion of US justice.”

Related: US Announces Designation of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism

The following is a ‘firm and absolute condemnation of the fraudulent qualification of Cuba as a State sponsor of terrorism,’ from the ministry of foreign affairs of the Republic of Cuba:

“The Cuban ministry of foreign affairs condemns in the strongest and most absolute terms the fraudulent qualification of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, announced by the United States government in a cynical and hypocritical act.

For months now, there has been speculation about the possibility of including Cuba in the State Department’s unilateral list that qualifies countries, without any mandate or legitimacy, lacking genuine motivation, referring to terrorism and its consequences, and as an instrument of defamation to justify the application of coercive economic measures against nations that resist bowing to the whims of US imperialism.

The announcement made by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is an arrogant act by a government that is discredited, dishonest and morally bankrupt. It is known, without a doubt, that the true motivation for this action is to impose additional obstacles to any prospect of recovery in the bilateral relations between Cuba and the United States.

Cuba is not a state sponsor of terrorism, a truth recognized by all. The official and well-known policy, and the impeccable conduct of our country, is the rejection of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, in particular State terrorism, by whoever, against whoever and wherever it is committed.

Cuba is a state victim of terrorism and our population has suffered it firsthand, at the cost of 3,478 fatalities and 2,099 people with disabilities, due to acts committed by the United States government or perpetrated and sponsored from the territory of that country with the support or tolerance of its government.

“We Cubans repudiate with contempt any maneuver aimed at manipulating such a sensitive issue, for gross purposes of political opportunism.”

Earlier this month, the Department of State announced the addition of Banco Financiero International S.A. (BFI) to the Cuba restricted list, effective upon publication in early January.

US Department of State adds Cuban bank to restricted list

“BFI is a Cuban military-controlled commercial bank that benefits directly from financial transactions at the expense of the Cuban people,” said the State Department. “The Cuban military uses BFI’s key role in foreign exchange to give military and state companies preferential access, secure advantageous exchange rates, and finance government-controlled projects that enrich the regime. The profits earned from these operations disproportionately benefit the Cuban military rather than independent Cuban entrepreneurs, furthering repression of the Cuban people and funding Cuba’s interference in Venezuela.”

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