U.S. DECLARES CUBA A STATE SPONSOR OF TERRORISM
The Trump administration declared Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism on Monday, the latest in a series of actions aimed at undoing the Obama-era legacy of opening U.S. relations with the island nation just weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
"The Trump Administration has been focused from the start on denying the Castro regime the resources it uses to oppress its people at home, and countering its malign interference in Venezuela and the rest of the Western Hemisphere," said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement. "With this action, we will once again hold Cuba’s government accountable and send a clear message: the Castro regime must end its support for international terrorism and subversion of U.S. justice.”
The State Department had briefed Congress on the impending move Monday morning, according to two congressional aides who spoke to NBC News on the condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to speak publicly. Bloomberg had first reported on the impending action.
Cuba was placed on the list in 1982 under President Ronald Reagan but was removed in 2015 by President Barack Obama as part of a normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
Placing Cuba back on the list before the Trump administration leaves office will place a major roadblock for efforts by incoming Biden officials to return to the Obama-era policy.
Groups that favor greater U.S. engagement with Cuba criticized the announcement.