Cuba to remain on terrorist sponsor list, State Department says


Cuban workers show a portrait of former President Fidel Castro during May Day celebrations at Revolution Square in Havana on May 1, 2013. The State Department said Wednesday that Cuba would remain on a list of states that sponsor terrorism.


Adalberto Roque

Cuba will remain on the states that sponsor terrorism list the State Department reaffirmed Wednesday.

The US government compiles a list of countries that sponsor terrorism, which currently includes Sudan, Syria and Iran, in its annual terrorism report.

North Korea is not on the list after having been taken off during nuclear negotiations in 2008.

The State Department's annual report on terrorism was supposed to be released on Tuesday but was rescheduled for release in May.

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State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told the press that the government “has no current plans to remove Cuba" from the list.

Cuba has always denied links to terrorist organization and has claimed that the listing is purely political - to pacify Cuban-Americans living in south Florida.

The US has imposed an embargo on Cuba for the last 51 years.

Cuba is the only country in the world that Americans are forbidden to visit.

Current Secretary of State John Kerry has been a vocal critic of American policy towards Cuba but it is unclear if they will change under his tenure.

Wednesday was a holiday in Cuba and there was no official reaction from the government.

Cuban-American Republican representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, said the decision "reaffirms that the Castro regime is, and has always been, a supporter and facilitator of terrorism."

A recent opinion piece in the Miami Herald said that keeping Cuba on the list undermined the list's credibility.