State Sponsors of Terrorism

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"State Sponsors of Terrorism" is a designation applied by the United States Department of State to nations which are designated by the Secretary of State "to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism."[1] Inclusion on the list imposes strict sanctions.

The list began on December 29, 1979 with Libya, Iraq, South Yemen, and Syria.

Contents

Countries currently on the list

Cuba

Added on March 1, 1982.

According to the US, Cuba has a history of supporting revolutionary movements in Latin America and Africa. "Havana openly advocates armed revolution as the only means for leftist forces to gain power in Latin America, and the Cubans have played an important role in facilitating the movement of men and weapons into the region. Havana provides direct support in the form of training, arms, safe havens, and advice to a wide variety of guerrilla groups. Many of these groups engage in terrorist operations." Cuba "encouraged terrorism in the hope of provoking indiscriminate violence and repression, in order to weaken government legitimacy and attract new converts to armed struggle" In 1992, after the Soviet collapse, Fidel Castro stressed that his country’s support for insurgents abroad was a thing of the past.[2]

According to Country Reports on Terrorism: August 5, 2010:[3]

Added in 1982 though no official explanation was provided.[2] A 2003 report contended that Cuba supported terrorist groups during the period it was added to the report. Conversely, Cuba has accused the United States of supporting, sponsoring and initiating terrorism against Cuba since 1961. Those who oppose Cuba's retention on the list contend that Cuba has made repeated offers to the United States since 2001 for a bilateral agreement to fight international terrorism, but the United States has not responded.[2] Critics also argue that domestic political considerations are responsible and question many of the allegations made in the State department report.[2] Historian of Cuba, Wayne Smith and Anya K. Landau, write that while "none of the reasons given by the Bush administration for maintaining Cuba on the terrorist list withstand the most superficial examination", it is domestic political calculations that are primarily at the root of the U.S. government's position.[4]

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