MIAMI MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Trump administration has once again designated Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, a move that is being applauded by many in South Florida’s Cuban-American community.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited Cuba’s continued harboring of U.S. fugitives as well as its support for Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro.
Pompeo also accused the nation of reneging on the commitments it made when President Barack Obama took them off the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 2015.
“It is a way of paying back the Cuban-American community or the majority of the Cuban-American community for supporting the president in the last election,” said Dr. Andy Gomez, a Cuba scholar.
The designation could affect remittances and travel to the island but much of that is already in force due to the Cuban embargo. The current Cuba policy could continue for some time.
“I don’t believe Cuba is on the list of top priority for the incoming Biden administration. They have enough domestically to worry about,” said Gomez.
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But is there more to the story? Is outgoing President Donald Trump setting his family up for more political prominence in Florida?
Trump is a Florida resident. Daughter Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner have purchased a plot of land in Indian Creek Village in an area dubbed “Billionaire’s Bunker.” The political future of the Trump family in the Sunshine State has been a topic for months and recently went coursing through the Cuban American community:
“I got a call last night. People in the Trump organization called individuals here in Miami, looking for friends to support a possible Ivanka Trump run for Senate here in Florida,” said Gomez.
That would pit the president’s daughter against either Marco Rubio or Rick Scott, both political powerhouses in Florida, both would face primary elections against a Trump.
“These guys are for real, they are not going to go away. This is all about the Trump dynasty, the Trump inner circle,” said Gomez.
On Tuesday afternoon, a senior Cuban diplomat says their government is convinced that President-elect Biden does not believe Cuba sponsors terrorism.
The Cuban government believes President Trump is seeking last-minute political gain with a move favored by Cuban exiles in Florida.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)