Published: Mon, March 18, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.
Los Angeles Times: Washington has for three decades kept Cuba on a
list of countries that sponsor terrorism, even though it has long since
changed the behavior that earned it that distinction. By all accounts,
Cuba remains on the list — alongside Iran, Sudan and Syria — because it
disagrees with the United States’ approach to fighting international
terrorism, not because it supports terrorism. That’s hardly a sensible
The State Department says it has no plans to remove Cuba
from the list. But Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., who recently led a
bipartisan congressional delegation to Havana, is urging President Obama
to consider a range of policy changes toward Cuba, including delisting
it, which would not require congressional approval. Designation as a
state sponsor of terrorism carries heavy sanctions, including financial
restrictions and a ban on defense exports and sales.
None of the
reasons that landed Cuba on the list in 1982 still exist. A 2012 report
by the State Department found that Havana no longer provides weapons or
paramilitary training to Marxist rebels in Latin America or Africa. In
fact, Cuba is currently hosting peace talks between the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia and President Juan Manuel Santos’ government.
And Cuban officials condemned the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
keeping Cuba on the list undermines Washington’s credibility in Latin
America. During last year’s Summit of the Americas in Cartagena,
Colombia, presidents from the hemisphere expressed frustration that the
U.S. remains frozen in its relations with Cuba, enforcing an embargo
that dates to the Kennedy administration.
Cuba is not a model
state. The government often fails to observe human rights. The list,
however, is reserved not for human rights violators but for countries
that export or support terrorism.
JG: And what does the LAT calls extra judicial assassinations by drones of U.S. citizens, without due process of law, as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution? Is it an affirmation of human rights? STOP THE DOUBLE STANDARDS!