US seems closer to removing Cuba from list of State-sponsored terrorists – Guyanese Int’l Relations Professor

Last Updated on Monday, 20 May 2024, 14:35 by Denis Chabrol

Professor Mark Kirton

Former University of the West Indies (UWI) International Relations Professor, Mark Kirton said the United States’ (US) erasure of Cuba’s name from a list of countries not cooperating fully in fighting terrorism signaled that that communist-ruled nation could soon be taken off Washington’s list of terrorism sponsors.

“The Cuban administration has made significant efforts to be part of any anti-terrorism movement globally and in the hemisphere so I see it as maybe a first step towards the removal of Cuba from the list of countries whose states sponsor terrorism,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

Dr Kirton, who also lectured in International Relations at the University of Guyana, believed that the US and Cuba have embarked on a “less tense” relationship between the two ideological enemies dating back to the 1950s. That scenario, he reasoned, could eventually lead to the scrapping of Trump-era sanctions on Cuba “that seem to be pressuring the Cuban economy and the Cuban administration.”

With the US heading into a presidential election, Dr Kirton said if the Biden administration removes Cuba now from that list, it would send a signal globally that that Spanish-speaking nation was not engaged in terrorism. In that regard, he observed that Cuba has been pushing its anti-terrorism stance in organisations such as the 33-nation Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and other organisations.

Dr Kirton also credited the 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for backing Cuba consistently “even at the height of the Cold War” and “has always indicated that they don’t see terrorism as part of Cuba’s modus.” “CARICOM’s position in relation to Cuba has been unwavering in its support for Cuba’s reentry into the hemispheric and global arrangements,” he said.

He noted that CARICOM member nations have always voted against the US’ economic blockade and at the same time has enjoyed cooperation in a range of areas.