The outgoing Trump administration is determined to create maximum problems for its successor. On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a number of policy directives designed to leave a violent extreme-right stamp on U.S. foreign policy for years. One of the most mendacious and hypocritical policies concerns socialist Cuba. It returns Cuba to the U.S. list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, from which the island nation was removed as part of the reworking of U.S.-Cuban relations which began in December of 2014.
Pompeo’s rationale for re-listing Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism is breathtakingly cynical and hypocritical. Point by point, the reasons he lists either are based on lies or conceal his own country’s role in fomenting terrorism.
Pompeo accuses Cuba of having “fed, housed and provided medical care for murderers, bomb makers and hijackers, while many Cubans go hungry, homeless and without basic medicine.” Pompeo is referring to a small number of people who, decades ago, sought asylum in Cuba. None of these people have ever carried out attacks on the United States while living in Cuba. They receive medical care because everybody in Cuba receives medical care.
In sharp contrast, the U.S. government has, for decades, tolerated and even coddled violent terrorist organizations based in the Cuban exile community of South Florida, who have regularly committed deadly attacks against the Cuban people. These attacks have included the 1976 bombing of a Cuban passenger aircraft, in which 73 innocent civilians were killed. The main leaders of the bombing plot lived as heroes in Miami, Florida, and died in their beds, having never been brought to justice in this country. Other attacks have killed a Cuban diplomat and people in Miami thought to have been too “pro-Castro.” In the spring of 2020 there was a terrorist attack on the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. Though nobody was killed or injured, somebody easily could have been. The Trump administration to date has not condemned this attack.
Pompeo cynically claims that, while the Cuban government allows these aging asylum seekers to live on the island, “many Cubans go hungry, homeless and without basic medicine.” Homelessness is, in fact, rare to nonexistent in Cuba, and everybody gets high-quality, free medical care, something that Cuba is famous for. If Cubans face some economic difficulty at the moment, it is because the Trump administration has sharply tightened the U.S. trade and financial blockade with the express purpose of creating hardships for the island’s 11.5 million inhabitants. And in the United States itself, there is a growing hunger and homelessness problem, and millions lack health care. This is not even to mention the hundreds of thousands of deaths that have occurred due to the Trump administration’s mismanagement of the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Pompeo also complains that members of the Colombian guerrilla insurgent group Ejercito de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army) currently live in Havana, and Cuba refuses to extradite them to Colombia. The fact is that the ELN representatives in Cuba came there to negotiate with representatives of the Colombian government to achieve a peace settlement. But when a new president, Ivan Duque, a hard-liner, came to power in Colombia, he started doing everything he could to undermine the peacemaking efforts. On Duque’s watch, a large number of grassroots environmental, indigenous, Afro-Colombian, and social justice activists have been murdered. The Trump administration has allied itself closely with Duque and so bears part of the responsibility for the breakdown of the peace process in that country. Cuba is right not to extradite peace emissaries into the hands of such a regime.
Finally, Pompeo complains that Cuba has been supportive of the legally elected president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, whom the Trump administration has been trying to overthrow and replace with a U.S. puppet. Rather, the terrorists are those that foment violence to reverse legal elections in other countries—and in our own country.
These domestic terrorists, incited by Trump to attack the U.S. Capitol on January 6, have been coddled by the Republican Party for years. The GOP has either ignored the danger of groups like the Proud Boys, QAnon, white-supremist militias, and others too numerous to mention or, like Trump, actively encouraged their actions. In this light, Pompeo’s re-listing Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism adds to his already hypocritical motives.
The other foreign policy changes announced by Pompeo are equally destructive. Designating the Houthi rebels in Yemen as terrorists will make it even harder to bring peace to that battered land, where the Saudi Air Force, using U.S. military equipment, has created one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world. Not only that, but the U.S. statement failed to clarify the status of humanitarian aid workers in Yemen, who as a result could be in danger of being accused of abetting terrorism.
Finally, Pompeo’s remarks on U.S. relations with Taiwan seem designed to create tensions between the new administration and the People’s Republic of China.
The Communist Party USA joins many other organizations and individuals here and around the world in denouncing the Pompeo announcements. We demand that the incoming Biden administration repudiate the whole Trump administration line of foreign policy, including the new policies announced by Pompeo, and instead return to a policy of peaceful resolution of international disputes in the context of respect toward the sovereignty of other countries.
We urge our members and friends across the country to contact the incoming White House, State Department, and Congressional representatives to support this demand.
Source: Communist Party USA – U.S. hypocritically re-lists Cuba as state sponsor of terrorism