It finally happened!
After the breakthrough of a round of negotiations which started in December and the meeting at the summit of the Americas of Raul Castro and Barack Obama, the United States finally removed Cuba from the list of terrorism which was one of the conditions for new diplomatic and economic ties between the two states.
The White House published a statement where they are speaking of the ‘‘unsuccessful efforts to isolate Cuba” of the past and that now the approach is to ”empower the Cuban people”. The details of the procedure were the following:
”As part of our new way forward with Cuba, the President in December instructed the Secretary of State to immediately launch a review of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, and conclude that review within six months. In April, the Secretary of State completed that review and recommended to the President that Cuba should no longer be designated as a State Sponsors of Terrorism. The President then submitted to Congress the statutorily required report indicating the Administration’s intent to rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, including the certification that Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six-months; and that Cuba has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.” Read the full statement here
Setting states and organisations in the list of terrorism has been a common strategy for the USA in its attempt to categorize the world in ”the axis of evil” and its ”allies”.
This can be regarded quite critical as well as the decision whether an organisation or a state ends up on the list of sponsors of terrorism or whether it is directly categorized as a terrorist organisation is made due to political motives.
Let’s take the PKK for instance. The PKK is the Kurdish party which fights for its freedom already for decades. Although the PKK also works together with the Kurdish Peshmerga forces (which are supported by the West) in order to fight the Islamic State militants (especially in the case of the Yazidi, an ancient religious minority of which 1200 people had to escape last summer on a mountain from IS), the PKK is still on the list of terrorist organisations. This is clearly happening for political reasons, as the PKK’s aim is the official independence and recognition of Kurdistan.
An other example on how the USA picks sides and randomly uses the terrorist list is the case of the Syrian Civil War and the fight against IS where the USA started to supply ”moderate rebels” with weapons in order to assist them with their fight against IS. It is not clear who those moderate rebels are, what they stand for, if they commit war crimes and what they want to achieve in their fight. It is not clear whether the weapons are in the wrong hands again.
I could go on and on again. The USA used to be great friends with the Taliban (oops, that went wrong!) and let’s not forget how much they love Saudi Arabia. And every person who is a bit educated about what is going on in the Middle East knows exactly that Saudi Arabia also supports ”terrorist” groups.
Yes, I am putting ”terrorist” between ” ”. Why? Terrorism is a concept. You cannot easily put an organization or an entire group in this concept. How is terrorism defined? One’s terrorist could be another person’s freedom fighter.
So yeayy. At least they figured out that the case of Cuba was just complete political nonsense and they realized it. Maybe one day the big wake up call is going to happen (I am not too optimistic, though)
By the way: In case you’d like to get references of my examples or further readings, let me know