Photo: Cuba (Aaron Escobar)
The U.S. government on Thursday denied that it is considering removing Cuba from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism, where Havana has found itself since 1982 and which has constituted one of the great obstacles to the thawing of bilateral relations.
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland rejected the suggestion contained in an article published Thursday by the Boston Globe, which said that several top officials and members of Congress had concluded that Cuba should be removed from the list and had conveyed that idea to Secretary of State John Kerry.
“I saw that report. Let me say firmly here it is incorrect. This Department has no current plans to remove Cuba from the state sponsor of terrorism list,” said Nuland at her daily press conference.
She noted that the State Department annually reviews the situation in each country to determine if it merits being placed on, remaining on or being removed from the list, and she added that authorities will do that again this year in a report that must be delivered to Congress in April.
Last year, the United States kept the Cuban regime on the list despite acknowledging in its report that no evidence had been found of Cuban provision of arms or military training to any terrorist groups.
To remove a country from the list it is necessary to have received a commitment from the government in question that it has no intention of involving itself in or supporting terrorism in the future, according to what a U.S. diplomatic source told Efe.
Also on the list - in addition to Cuba - are Iran, Sudan and Syria.
The Boston Globe said that there is a growing consensus in political and intelligence circles that the government of Barack Obama should drop Cuba from the list, as the George W. Bush administration did in 2008 with North Korea.