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Cuban state-sponsored terrorist activities and funding of Hamas:

  1. Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism:

  • On January 12, 2021, the U.S. Department of State designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.

  • The decision was based on Cuba’s repeated support for acts of international terrorism, including granting safe harbor to terrorists.

  • Cuba had previously held this designation in 1982 due to its history of aiding guerrilla groups and individual terrorists.

  1. Support for Terrorist Groups:

  1. Specific Instances:

Source :

Cuba’s support for terrorist activities involves several key aspects:

  1. Harboring Fugitives:

  • Cuba provides safe haven for individuals wanted by other countries for their involvement in terrorist acts or other criminal activities.

  • Notable examples include Joanne Chesimard (also known as Assata Shakur), who was involved in the killing of a New Jersey state trooper, and William “Guillermo” Morales, a bomb-maker for the Puerto Rican nationalist group FALN.

  • By harboring these fugitives, Cuba allows them to evade justice and continue their activities.

  1. Support for Radical Groups:

  • Cuba has historical ties to revolutionary movements and guerrilla groups. During the Cold War, it supported various leftist movements across Latin America and Africa.

  • While some of these groups have disbanded, Cuba’s ideological alignment with certain radical factions persists.

  • Hamas and Hezbollah, both designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S., have found support in Cuba.

  • Cuba’s relationship with these groups involves financial aid, training, and logistical support.

  1. Refusal to Cooperate with Extradition Requests:

  • When other countries seek the extradition of individuals involved in terrorist acts, Cuba often refuses to cooperate.

  • For example, after the 2019 bombing of a police academy in Bogotá, Colombia, by the ELN (National Liberation Army), Cuba declined Colombia’s request to extradite ELN leaders residing in Havana.

  • This lack of cooperation allows terrorists to remain beyond the reach of international law enforcement.

  1. Strategic Geopolitical Position:

  • Cuba’s geographical location in the Caribbean provides it with strategic advantages.

  • It can serve as a transit point for illicit activities, including arms trafficking, drug smuggling, and money laundering.

  • By turning a blind eye to such activities, Cuba supports networks that have ties to terrorism.

The Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN), or Armed Forces of National Liberation, had a significant relationship with Cuba during its existence. Here are the key points regarding their connection:

  1. Safe Haven in Cuba:

  • The FALN was a Puerto Rican nationalist group that advocated for independence for Puerto Rico.

  • Several FALN members were involved in bombings and other violent acts in the United States during the 1970s and 1980s.

  • After committing these acts, some FALN members fled to Cuba to avoid arrest and prosecution.

  • William Morales, a bomb maker for the FALN, escaped from prison in the U.S. and eventually settled in Cuba, where he has lived freely for decades.

  1. Other Fugitives in Cuba:

  1. Uncertainty Amid Thaw in U.S.-Cuba Relations:

  • With the historic deal to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba announced in December, the fate of these fugitives has become uncertain.

  • The State Department has indicated that discussions will occur regarding the status of individuals like William Morales and Assata Shakur.

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