MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A top Cuban official has accused the United States of committing acts of terrorism against Cuba, after the Trump administration said it had put the island nation back on the list of countries that do not cooperate fully with its efforts to counter terrorism.
The State Department justified the move by Cuba’s refusal of Colombia’s request to extradite leaders of the ELN rebel group after it claimed responsibility for an attack at a Bogota police academy in January 2019 that killed 22.
The leaders of the National Liberation Army, the largest active guerrilla group in Colombia, travelled to Havana as part of peace negotiations that collapsed last year after the car bomb attack.
Cuba has said it must respect the protocols of the talks it had been hosting, which provide guarantees for guerrilla leaders to return to mountainous or jungle areas of Colombia with security from military attack for an agreed period.
Cuba has received broad plaudits in the past for hosting the successful peace talks between the Colombian government and the former FARC rebel army.
The Cuban Foreign Ministry’s general director for U.S. affairs, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, said on Twitter that Cuba had long been a victim of “terrorist acts committed by the US government or with its complicity.”
Cuba has designated the gun attack on its embassy in Washington two weeks ago, in which no one was hurt, as a terrorist attack.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a Reuters query on whether its move was a preliminary step toward returning Cuba to the list of state sponsors of terrorism (SSOT), a designation that carries tougher penalties.