Friday, August 6, 2010

Cuba denies terrorism “sponsor” status

Yesterday we mentioned that a U.S. Department of State labeled Cuba as a “state sponsor” of terrorism along with countries like Sudan and Syria. The agency’s terrorism report claimed that "no evidence of direct financial support for terrorist organizations by Cuba in 2009" yet said that the island’s government has provided safe haven to Colombian rebels and members of Basque separatist group ETA.

Shortly after the report was published the Castro regime responded to the claims made by the Department of State. Unsurprisingly Cuban officials were not too happy:
A statement issued by Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, director of North American affairs at the Foreign Ministry in Havana, said Cuba ``categorically rejects'' the island's inclusion on the list.

``Once again, the United States casts doubts on the (island's) seriousness and commitment in the fight against international terrorism,'' the statement said, adding that the list shows a U.S. ``double standard.''

While five Cuban ``anti-terrorists are unjustly jailed'' in the United States -- they were convicted of spying charges -- Miami exile Luis Posada Carriles ``and others who have confessed to horrendous acts of terrorism against Cuba remain in complete freedom,'' it said.
The Salvadoran press last month cited local and Cuban intelligence reports claiming that that there are active “terrorist cells” founded by Posada Carriles functioning in El Salvador.

On a related note, Havana Roman Catholic Archbishop Jaime Ortega was in Washington this week where he received the Knights of Columbus’ highest honor and met with State Department and national Security Council officials. (Ortega was instrumental in brokering the planned freeing of 52 political prisoners by the Cuban government).

Image- New York Times (“A billboard in Havana bears a likeness of Luis Posada Carriles and reads, “Cuba declares him guilty” in the bombing of a Cuban jetliner in 1976.”)
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, Miami Herald, EFE

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