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USA re-designates Cuba as "state sponsor of terrorism"

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"I am outraged that Donald Trump is designating Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism less than a week after he incited a domestic terror attack on the U.S. Capitol", he said in a statement. On Twitter, he said, "The US political opportunism of this action is recognized by anyone with an honest regard for the scourge of terrorism and its victims".

The Trump administration accused Cuba of "repeatedly providing support for acts of worldwide terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists".

Since Saturday, Pompeo has also designated Yemen's Huthi rebels as a terrorist group, defying warnings from aid groups, and relaxed rules on USA engagement with Taiwan.

The United States government has again blacklisted Cuba as a "state sponsor of terrorism", reports The Guardian.

Havana, for its part, left the list in 2015, during the spectacular rapprochement operated by former Democratic President Barack Obama, of which Joe Biden was the vice-president.

The Trump administration has steadily reversed numerous steps Obama took to end Cuba's isolation.

The designation carries a prohibition on US economic aid, a ban on USA arms exports, controls on "dual-use" items with military and civilian applications, and a requirement that the United States oppose loans to Cuba by institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Cuba and the USA, enemies after the late Fidel Castro took power in 1959, established diplomatic relations in 2015 when Obama was president and Biden was vice president.

But that stance may have cost him heavily in Florida, where a strong bloc of voters with ties to Cuba and Venezuela are credited with helping Mr. Trump easily carry the state in November.

A re-listing of Cuba has heavy symbolic meaning for Havana, which had chafed for decades under the US designation, though it is unclear how much practical impact there will be. He predicted it could take the administration at least a year to prepare the legal ground to reverse Monday's designation. Washington later enforced a trade and economic embargo on Havana. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in a statement Monday.

Blacklisting is expected to further hamper foreign investment in Cuba. For example, an SST designation normally triggers a change under the Export Administration Regulations to claim USA jurisdiction over non-US items that incorporate more than 10% controlled U.S. content rather than the 25% de minimis threshold used for most other countries.

The real motive behind this move is to offer a parting gift to the Cuban exile community and its allies that have been loyal supporters of the Trump administration and helped oust several Democratic members of Congress in the last election. "We believe that the USA should develop normal state-to-state relations with Cuba on the basis of equality and mutual respect".

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