Cuba Being Removed From State Sponsors of Terrorism List

The process to certify Cuba hasn't supported terrorism in the last six months has taken more than four already


White House

The White House has submitted documentationin support of removing Cuba from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism, on which it's been for more than 33 years, longer than any country but Syria, which was placed on the list in 1979. The other two countries on the State Department's list, Iran and Sudan, were placed there in 1984 and 1993.  Cuba's placement on the list, like the Cold War era sanctions, have done nothing to improve the situation in Cuba or advance any of the U.S.'s stated goals.

The White House is in the process of "certifying" that Cuba hasn't sponsored any terrorist acts in the last six months, a process it began back in December, when Jacob Sullum explained the State Department's list is driven by politics, not facts, and that there's been little evidence Cuba is still involved in international terrorism.  Nevertheless only the Secretary of State can remove a country from the list, not a lack of evidence.

Last week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), now running for president, called the White House's move toward normalizing relations with Cuba, including removing it off the terrorism list, "ridiculous," arguing Cuba was still supporting terrorism. Via The Hill:

"It doesn't make sense," he added. "I don't see how they can rationalize taking them off the list, other than the president's desire to achieve a legacy issue that he's the one that opened up Cuba and changed fifty years of policy." 

Rubio cited Cuba's spying and aid of known terrorist groups as proof of Obama's missteps. The Castro regime's actions, he charged, displayed clear hostility towards the U.S.

"This is the country that is the third most active espionage force in America today, operating against us, [and also has] military officials who have been indicted in federal court for the murder of U.S. citizens over international waters," Rubio said.

So other than fixing a decades old failed policy of sanctions that's done nothing to move the needle on relations between U.S. and Cuba, Rubio doesn't see the point.

And while Rubio didn't say where he got his "third most active espionage force in America today" information, it can be sourced, in NSA documents obtained by The Intercept. According to their reporting, that list includes China in first, Russia in second, Israel in fourth, and Iran in fifth. The list is rounded out by Pakistan, North Korea, France, Venezuela, and South Korea. By someone's definition, most of these countries could be accused of sponsoring terrorism or terrorist/paramilitary/insurgency groups lumped under the broad category of "international terrorism."  

How many would Rubio put on the list? The senator hasn't released a statement on the White House's announcement—there's been no answer at Rubio's DC office and the voice mailbox has been full. Rubio's campaign website calls Cuba "proven state sponsors of terrorism" but the campaign hasn't responded to a request for comment yet. Neither does it appear Rubio's relative youth will mean a more adept use of social media to stay on top of issues. There's been no statement on the Cuba terrorism news on his Twitter account either, where the latest tweet and retweet are both about campaign t-shirt sales.

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  1. “””So other than fixing a decades old failed policy of sanctions that’s done nothing to move the needle on relations between U.S. and Cuba”””

    Why should the policy change, they are still communists

  2. Next up: adding Israel and Memories Pizza to the list.

  3. Other than tacit support for FARC and ETA, what kinds of terrorist support has Cuba engaged in? All I could find on WIKI is the following:

    According to the United States of America, Cuba has a history of supporting revolutionary movements in Spanish speaking countries and Africa.

    Shit, you mean they support regime change in countries they view as having the wrong politics?

    I know we’re still sore over that Bay of Pigs thing, but seriously, if the criterion is directly/indirectly supporting regime change, shouldn’t the US put itself on that list first?

    1. You know who else supported regime change in countries they view as having the wrong politics?

      1. Eastasia?

      2. Anyone playing Diplomacy?

        1. anyone playing Risk?

  4. Oh Cuba. For a dinky little country devastated by a communist dictator, you sure seem to occupy a lot of thought and action time for US politicians.

    1. Because Florida.

      It’s near the top of the list of reasons I hate living here.

      1. It’s the symbolism you see. We can’t let it be known that we tolerate countries supporting terrorists, attempting to incite regime change, killing people without due process, cozying up to reprehensible governments.

      2. Yeah, I know about that, but it’s not just that. As DEATFBIRSECIA alludes above, the CIA fucking hates Castro with a passion because they failed to get him and had a botched overthrow attempt, and basically looked really fucking stupid. Cuba is therefore a thorn in the side of the US Government for several reasons and they really want to pluck it out.

        But it’s absurd that it’s all over a dinky little island.

        1. I don’t know, Epi, the people in the CIA have long since changed, and I don’t think that there is some kind of institutional hatred for Cuba especially. I think that it’s plain politics and Cold War carryover, as well as a refusal to admit that Uncle Sam was unable to force the Castro regime to submit.

          1. I think you’d be surprised how long a bureaucratic institution like the CIA can hold institutional grudges. Most people who rise high in such an organization “believe” in it, like a person who really loves their alma mater or something. Those grudges will be passed down. I’d guarantee you that there is a special hatred for Cuba and Castro in the CIA.

          1. Interesting:

            In 1986 the trilogy won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, designed to honor classic Libertarian fiction,[2] despite the fact that there are several passages in the trilogy that savagely parody Libertarianism and the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand.

            1. There is some pretty great parody of Rand in there (Telemachus Sneezed), but I never read it as at all anti-libertarian or anti-anarchist. The anarchists are the heroes (if there are any). And RAW himself was pretty libertarian/anarchist, if in a pretty far out way. I’d say is it an excellent and very libertarian book. It just savagely parodies conspiracy theories of all sorts. Whoever wrote that must think that libertarians are all crazy weirdoes living in cabins.

              That book had a lot to do with my conversion to a philosophically anarchistic libertarian. I love that book.

          2. Gilligan and the Skipper?

    1. Next up, Salon berates Batman. I mean, not only is he a vigilante, but he’s a one precenter!

    2. SJWs could fuck up a wet dream.

      1. #Dreamrape!

          1. Don’t have to, they live inside of my head.

            1. I assume they come to you in your bed.

              1. Yeah and it’s driving me insane.

    3. So, is George Zimmerman territory the area in Mexico filled with whites?

      Also, is Gotham located in George Zimmerman territory? Then why doesn’t Commissionaire Gordon speak Mexican? Or, would that be Lieutenant (pronounced with the British ‘fff’) Gordon?

      Salon ruins everything.

      1. Doesn’t Jag-you-arr still make salons?

    4. They didn’t get the memo that the narrative collapsed on Trayvon Martin a loooong time ago?

      Unless they mean defending yourself from lethal force with lethal force is “George Zimmerman territory.”

      They need to release a SJW Devil’s Dictionary.

      1. Yah, it’s kind of amazing that people still trot out Trayvon as an example of an innocent victim.

  5. This seems as good a place as any to bring up CNN International’s idiotic “Visit Cuba before the Americans ruin it!” article from earlier today.…..index.html

    1. “Old world charm” is not exactly how I would describe Cuba.

      1. To some outsiders, it looks firmly stuck in the 1950s. Vintage cars roam the streets, the landscape is absent of strip malls and global chains, and the buildings — though crumbling — hark back to a grander time.

        Holy shit this is plain despicable.

        1. Fun fact: there was no two or triple ply toilet paper in the the ’50s. Come to Cuba: wipe your ass with tissue paper.

          This is called vacationing is someone else’s despair and it’s the height of narcissism.

          1. It’s beyond narcissistic. It’s sociopathic. Literally. The people in Cuba aren’t people to this person. They’re props in their little world, to amuse them as necessary. ZERO empathy or conception that they are actually people.

            1. There are a lot of people who seem to want the third world to be a museum. Yet they are horrified when they find out that people used to put exotic people from far away in zoos or museums (often apparently with their full consent).

              I find both ideas pretty distasteful. They are fucking people. The fact that those people would change how they live if more outside influence were allowed is evidence that the people want change, not evidence that the US is evil.

              You don’t see people in every little village in Africa wearing western clothes because evil imperialists forced them to wear them. You see it because the clothes are practical and comfortable and inexpensive on the huge international used clothing market that exists.

              I like to go see some place that is authentically very different from where I am from as much as anyone, but it’s not up to me to say whether it should stay that way. In a lot of ways, so called “progressives” are reactionary conservatives.

          2. I’d love for these fuckers to be able to go back and live in the 50s. Wouldn’t last a week.

        2. And it’s not like being in the 50s. If it were, people would be allowed to make money and improve their lives. And buy new cars.

    2. The current first comment (Peter Muller) is just wonderful!
      Yes, those who don’t hold money as a prime value love to see the ‘variety’ represented by starvation and jails filled with political prisoners!
      What a slimy piece of work.

  6. Why do people think that Cuba will liberalize once the sanctions and diplomatic relations are restored? Stalin was in power with US, UK, French and German diplomatic recognition after all.

    1. Because there are no more communist superpowers. They will have no choice, in the face of enormous trade with their neighbor, but to liberalize. And even if they don’t, it increases the freedom of Americans to trade with whomever they want, which is excellent in my book.

      1. Because there are no more communist superpowers. They will have no choice, in the face of enormous trade with their neighbor, but to liberalize.

        Again Stalin rebuts these points.

        1. How so? Stalin was ruling a superpower. You just can’t compare the USSR and Cuba.

    2. I don’t think it’s certain, perhaps not likely, that it will result in that. I think the reason many may think that is that the current policy certainly didn’t work in the 55 years it’s lasted. I also don’t think you can really equate Cuba and the Stalin-era USSR. Aside from both being communist dictatorships, they don’t have much in common.

      1. There’s the whole part about how diplomatic recognition and trade didn’t cause Stalin to liberalize his regime at all. And your first sentence acknowledges that you know it isn’t a panacea either.

    3. That Cuba will liberalize is possible, but the idea that will be inevitable is pollyannish. Cuba has been trading with Canada and western Europe the entire time of the embargo. Just because the US wsd not trading does not mean the Cubans were isolated from the effects of free markets.

      After all, Americans were deeply involved with Cuba prior to the Castro’s, if that was all it took to cure repression how did Cuba come doen with the duseasr in the first place.

  7. Petition to remove the embargo on cuba:

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