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Cuba reacts to US blacklisting calls Washington “international criminal”

Friday, May 1st 2009 - 12:43 UTC
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Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

Cuba reacted strongly on Thursday calling the US government an “international criminal” after Washington said it was keeping Cuba on a list of countries that allegedly support terrorism. The US State Department released a report lumping Cuba with Iran, Syria and Sudan on a blacklist as sponsors of terrorism.

“The author (of the report) is an international criminal” said Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. “We do not recognize any political or moral authorities from the government of the United States to create any list, on any subject, nor to certify good or bad behaviours” Mr Rodriguez said at a press conference.

“In matters of terrorism, the government of the United States has had a long record of state-sponsored acts of terrorism, not only against Cuba” said Mr. Rodriguez.

Among other things, Havana accuses Washington of “giving refuge” to Luis Posada Carriles, a one-time CIA operative that Cuba and Venezuela want in connection with the bombing of a Cuban passenger plane in 1976 that killed 73 people.

Rodriguez also mentioned that the administration of former president George W. Bush “was certified by the world public opinion” as being “aggressive and warmonger” having violated international law and carried out torture.

However the US report, despite keeping Cuba on the blacklist, highlighted positive steps taken by the government in Havana. “The Cuban government continued to provide safe haven to several terrorists,“ even if it ”no longer actively supports“ armed struggle beyond its shores.

It said members of the Basque separatist ETA, the Colombian rebel group FARC and the Colombian group ELN remained in Cuba last year after some arrived to help conduct peace negotiations with the governments of Spain and Colombia.

It also said that the government of President Raul Castro ”continued to publicly defend the FARC“ the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. But it noted that on July 6 last year former president Fidel Castro urged the FARC to release the hostages they were holding without preconditions.

And Castro ”has also condemned the FARC mistreatment of captives and of their abduction of civilian politicians who had no role in the armed conflict,“ it added.

It said that the United States had ”no evidence of terrorist-related money laundering or terrorist financing activities in Cuba,” but pointed out that

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