Rumors abound that the Biden administration is considering removing Cuba from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism (SST).
Iván Duque, who ran against the peace agreement in the 2016 vote, was elected Colombia’s new president in August 2018.
Later, on January 17, 2019, ELN rebels destroyed the Bogotá police academy.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on January 11, 2021, that Cuba was back on the SST list because of the standoff.
This was due to Cuba’s refusal to extradite ten ELN leaders who were living in Havana after the group claimed responsibility for the bombing of a police academy in Bogota in January 2019. Putting Cuba on the SST list adds another set of harsh sanctions to the embargo that has existed for a long time; enough said.
There are a lot of rumors that the Biden administration is thinking about taking Cuba off the list of states that support terrorism (SST) kept by the State Department. This simple first step would not require congressional approval.
Everyone in Washington knows that Cuba does not support terrorism on a state level. President Obama knew this when he took the island off the SST list in April 2015. The Trump administration later put it back on the list. “POTUS is working to remove Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list because Cuba is not a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” tweeted Ben Rhodes, one of Obama’s deputy national security advisers at the time.
Obama thought it was in the US’s interest to change its long-standing Cuba policy. Obama’s reputation in Latin America went up a lot after he made the change, based on his belief that talking to people was better than being alone. Given what happened at the Summit of the Americas the year before, this might sound like an excellent idea to Biden.
If anything, the region is now more united on the Cuba problem due to the election of left-of-center governments in several Latin American republics. Predictably, President Lula da Silva of Brazil warned a week before he visited Washington that Cuba would likely come up in his conversation with the US president because “Cuba was constantly on the agenda” in his talks with Bush and Obama.
Cuba was put back on the SST list for unclear reasons. It was also essential to give in to the radical anti-Cuba lobby, which included Florida Senator Marco Rubio, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, when it looked into Trump’s ties to Russia. If Trump had other goals, the way he took Cuba off the list and put it back on would have been much less honest. Trump saw an opportunity in Cuba’s support for peace, mainly the ease of doing business in Colombia, rather than its support for terrorism or war.
Insurgents from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government met in Cuba to discuss a peace deal signed in September 2016. The National Liberation Army (ELN), another group, and the Colombian government had started talks in Ecuador simultaneously. Lenn Moreno, the president of Ecuador, shocked the globe by pulling support from the discussions in April 2018. Then Cuba agreed to Colombia’s request to host the ELN negotiations.
Iván Duque, who ran against the peace agreement in the 2016 vote, was elected Colombia’s new president in August 2018. A discussion with the ELN appeared to be losing political support. Later, on January 17, 2019, ELN rebels destroyed the Bogotá police academy. These rebels were likely part of a group that was against the talks. The outcome was 22 tragic deaths. The country of Colombia went into grief. Duque took a moment to declare the conclusion of the peace negotiations. In addition, he called for Cuba to extradite the ELN delegation so they might face terrorism charges.
Cuba broke its agreement with the ELN, the Colombian government, and other guarantor nations when it sent peacekeepers back to Colombia. Standard procedures make sure that delegations can get back to their bases of operations safely if talks end unexpectedly. No peace negotiations would be possible anywhere in the world without such promises.
Even though Cuba condemned the attack by the ELN, it said it would “operate in perfect line with the protocols” and not send the negotiators to another country. After taking a big part in negotiations with the FARC and the ELN, Norway offered Cuba its full help. The conversations were held in Cuba at the state of Colombia’s request, according to the Norwegian envoy to Colombia. Cuba has clarified that the protocols’ agreements with the parties must be upheld. This position is supported by international law, and Norway fully agrees with it.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on January 11, 2021, that Cuba was back on the SST list because of the standoff. This was due to Cuba’s refusal to extradite ten ELN leaders who were living in Havana after the group claimed responsibility for the bombing of a police academy in Bogota in January 2019.
Putting Cuba on the SST list adds another set of harsh sanctions to the embargo that has existed for a long time. During the epidemic, Cuba had trouble importing the medicine, food, and raw materials because of a tightening ban. They also couldn’t get COVID-19 vaccination syringes.
The Biden administration needs to work on restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba. Further actions, such as cancelling all of Trump’s executive orders, should be taken when the nation is removed from the terror list. Section III of the Helms-Burton Act, which permits US citizens to sue any people or organizations that deal in the property seized by the Cuban Revolution, may also be waived by Biden; the provision had been suspended since the Clinton administration until Trump lifted the prohibition in 2019.
Florida, which Democrats will likely win shortly, should not be the main factor in US-Latin American ties.