By the National Network on Cuba
There is no mistake about it. With the February 27 release of the State Department Country Report on Terrorism 2021, President Biden accepted ownership of the illegal U.S. economic war on Cuba, following suit with Donald Trump, George Bush, and Ronald Reagan’s hawkishness with the false designation of Cuba as a so-called “State Sponsor of Terror.”
Unbelievably Biden’s Secretary of State asserts that “Cuba had repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism since its State Sponsor of Terrorism designation had been rescinded in 2015.” Despite this untrue report, Pres. Biden need only review the past six months and accept Cuba’s unequivocal rejection of terrorism to take Cuba off the list.
The real purpose of slandering Cuba as “terrorist” is to justify the criminal blockade on Cuba. Biden is choosing to join his predecessors in failure – failure to defeat the Cuban people’s centuries-long determination for sovereignty and self-determination on the road to equality, full human development and socialism.
The Country Report on Terrorism repeats the same discredited excuses that over 180 of the world’s countries have rejected for 30 consecutive years in votes at the United Nations General Assembly. The U.S. war on Cuba is increasingly rejected by the U.S. public, whose elected officials in government and unions — representing over 44 million U.S. people — have called for Cuba to be removed from the State Sponsors of Terrorism (SSOT) list and that the U.S. end the blockade and take steps to normalize relations with its much smaller neighbor.
With Cuba’s SSOT designation, the U.S. attempts to criminalize normalizing relations with Cuba, exacerbating the already devastating impacts of the US blockade on Cuba. It makes it harder for Cuba to make international transactions or borrow loans for building infrastructure and buying essential food and medicine. The SSOT designation also punishes people from 40 non-U.S. countries for traveling to Cuba by threatening their eligibility for the U.S. visa waiver program.
During his presidential campaign, Biden said he would reverse Trump’s harsher sanctions and revert to Obama administration’s policies of normalization, but he has failed to deliver. President Ronald Reagan put Cuba on the list in 1982 because of Cuba’s support for anti-colonial liberation movements around the world, and because Cuba gave asylum to political prisoners who escaped persecution by the U.S. government. President Barack Obama removed Cuba from the SSOT List and began to normalize relations with Cuba. Trump added 240 additional harsh sanctions on Cuba and, at the very end of his term, re-designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism on January 11, 2021, just days after the fascist insurrection at the Capitol. Biden is continuing the long history of U.S. terror towards Cuba, which includes the Bay of Pigs invasion, funding Cuban exiles to bomb Cuban planes and hotels, and attempting to assassinate Fidel Castro 638 times.
We have seen the results of Biden’s ‘freedom, democracy and human rights’ in his administration’s record number of deportations, COVID deaths, and police killings; in crumbling U.S. infrastructure; in the economic crisis of the American working class; in the never-ending violence and mass-shootings fueled by white supremacy; and in his imperialist policy toward Cuba and the entire Global South.
Despite the devastating impacts of the U.S. economic blockade, Cuba still has a longer life expectancy, lower infant and maternal mortality rates, better health outcomes, higher literacy, more education, and less violence than in the U.S. We support the right of the Cuban people to determine their own path, free from coercive economic measures and U.S. taxpayer-funded destabilization. We support the right of the entire Latin America and the Caribbean to a Zone of Peace, free from the Monroe Doctrine of U.S. intervention and economic exploitation.
We call on justice and freedom loving people to join us at the White House on Sunday, June 25 to demand Biden take Cuba #OFFTheList and end U.S. terror on Cuba. Biden, write the letter. Take Cuba #OFFtheList and end the blockade. Let Cuba Live.