Reliable Security Information
State Sponsors: Cuba

Introduction

Cuba has been a fixture on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorism-sponsoring states since 1982 despite Fidel Castro's announcement in 1992 that supporting insurgents abroad was no longer an active Cuban policy. According to the State Department, Cuba remains on the list because it has "publicly opposed" the U.S.-led war on terror and maintains friendly relationships with other state sponsors of terrorism, like Iran. Cuba in the past has provided shelter to fugitives from U.S. justice without extradition and hosted members of terrorist organizations. Though Fidel Castro transferred power to his brother Raul in July 2006, little has changed in Havana's relations with the United States. In early 2010, the United States included Cuba on a list of countries whose citizens will receive additional screening in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound flight. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "Cuba is a designated state sponsor of terrorism, and we think it's a well-earned designation given their long-standing support for radical groups in the region." The Cuban government denounced the measures (Reuters), saying they were "politically motivated" and a "hostile action" by the United States.

Does Cuba support terrorism?

The U.S. government says yes, but many experts are skeptical. The State Department placed Cuba on its list of states that sponsor terrorism in 1982, citing Fidel Castro's training and arming of communist rebels in Africa and Latin America. But intelligence experts have been hard pressed to find evidence that Cuba currently provides weapons or military training to terrorist groups. In 1998, a comprehensive review by the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Cuba does not pose a threat to U.S. national security, which implies that Cuba no longer sponsors terrorism. Critics argue that Cuba's place on the state sponsors list is a remnant...

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