US puts Cuba on terrorism blacklist again

The administration of US President Donald Trump says it has put back Cuba on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, reversing the earlier removal under President Barack Obama.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Monday that the state department has designated Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Pompeo cited the fact that the Cuban government has refused to extradite US fugitives suspected of committing serious crimes. He also referred to the idea that the Cuban intelligence agencies have "assisted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to maintain his stranglehold over his people."

The designation bans exports and sales of weapons-related products from the US to Cuba.
Economic assistance, excluding humanitarian efforts, are also banned.

The US government put Cuba on the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 1982. But the Obama administration removed the country from the list in 2015 during negotiations to normalize ties between the two nations.

The Trump administration has taken hardline policies toward Cuba reversing those introduced under Obama. The administration has also tightened economic sanctions on Cuba that include restrictions on remittances from the US to Cuba.

US President-elect Joe Biden suggested in his election campaign a willingness to improve the bilateral ties by removing Trump's sanctions on Cuba. The move taken by the outgoing administration could affect the Cuban policy of Biden's government.
Cuba's foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez tweeted, "We condemn the US announced hypocritical and cynical designation of Cuba as a State sponsoring terrorism."

He called the move "the US political opportunism."