Chomsky and Prashad: Cuba is not a state sponsor of terrorism

The inclusion of Cuba on the US State Sponsors of Terrorism list has further restricted its ability to purchase essential goods for its population

February 12, 2023 by Noam Chomsky, Vijay Prashad
Days after the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, Cuba sent a 30 person health brigade to assist in medical care to victims. Photo: Ismael Francisco

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Cuba, a country of eleven million people, has been under an illegal embargo by the United States government for over six decades.

Despite this embargo, Cuba’s people have been able to transcend the indignities of hunger, ill-health, and illiteracy, all three being social plagues that continue to trouble much of the world.

Due to its innovations in health care delivery, for instance, Cuba has been able to send its medical workers to other countries, including during the pandemic, to provide vital assistance. Cuba exports its medical workers, not terrorism.

In the last days of the Trump administration, the US government returned Cuba to its State Sponsor of Terrorism list.

This was a vindictive act. Trump said it was because Cuba played host to guerrilla groups from Colombia, which was actually part of Cuba’s role as host of the peace talks.

Cuba played a key role in bringing peace in Colombia, a country that has been wracked by a terrible civil war since 1948 that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. For two years, the Biden administration has maintained Trump’s vindictive policy, one that punishes Cuba not for terrorism but for the promotion of peace.

Biden can remove Cuba from this list with a stroke of his pen. It’s as simple as that. When he was running for the presidency, Biden said he would even reverse the harsher of Trump’s sanctions. But he has not done so. He must do so now.

Noam Chomsky and Vijay Prashad are the authors of The Withdrawal: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of US Power. Noam Chomsky is a linguist, philosopher, and political activist. Vijay Prashad is a writing fellow and chief correspondent at Globetrotter. He is the chief editor of LeftWord Books and the director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research