Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cuba “sponsors” terrorism says State Dept.

On Thursday the U.S. Department of State, (DOS), issued its annual list on global terrorism and the Americas were not exempt from the agency’s analysis.

Once again the DOS designated Cuba as a “state sponsor” of terrorism alongside countries like Syria and Sudan. According to the Washington Post the report mentioned that Cuba has provided sanctuary to several U.S. fugitives; one example that we mentioned last year was Joanne Chesimard who was convicted in the 1973 murder of a New Jersey state trooper. Furthermore, the report also said that Cuba has given refuge to Colombian rebels and Basque separatists yet there was "no evidence of direct financial support for terrorist organizations by Cuba in 2009."

The DOS also pointed out that the Shining Path rebels “remain a threat” in Peru while also praising U.S.-Mexico efforts to try to control money laundering and crime. The report also mentioned the “concern” by the U.S. government of “Hezbollah and HAMAS sympathizers” in South America’s Tri-Border area but said that they lack “an operational presence in the region.”

The report also waded into Colombian allegations that some rebels from that country were safely living in Venezuela. U.S. ambassador-designate to Venezuela Larry Palmer said last week that he was "keenly aware of the clear ties" between Colombian guerillas and some members of the Venezuelan government. The DOS report took a more neutral stance, however:
It remained unclear to what extent the Venezuelan government provided support to Colombian groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). The FARC and ELN reportedly regularly crossed into Venezuelan territory to rest and regroup as well as to extort protection money and kidnap Venezuelans to finance their operations. Colombia on various occasions has accused the Venezuelan Government of harboring and aiding top FARC leaders in Venezuelan territory.
Image- EPA (Peruvian soldiers recently fought against the resurgent Shining Path rebels).
Online Sources-, Reuters, CNN, Washington Post, The Latin Americanist

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