By Carlos Rafael Dieguez
January 07, 2021
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Letter from US religious organizations and institutions to the Secretary of State opposing the inclusion of Cuba on the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
The Honorable Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
Dear Secretary Pompeo,
Press reports suggest that he is considering adding Cuba once again to the list of “state sponsors of terrorism,” and we write to express our strong opposition.
There is no justification for adding Cuba to this list. While the United States has political disagreements with Cuba on a variety of issues, these issues are not related to state sponsorship of terrorism. Adding Cuba to the list of state sponsors of terrorism will be perceived internationally as a political gesture that will undermine US credibility on the issue of terrorism.
Designating Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism would not only be wrong, but cruel. While it would not tighten existing sanctions on US companies trading with Cuba, it would harm the Cuban people, including families, communities and congregations who are our partners. It would complicate some third country sales to Cuba and discourage foreign investment.
The Cuban economy has received several hard blows in recent years, including US restrictions on family remittances, the contraction in the number of US visitors as a result of travel limitations imposed during this period.
These include the government’s decision to impose a ban on oil exports to Cuba, the COVID blockade, the United States’ efforts to restrict oil shipments to Cuba, and Cuba’s own internal economic challenges. The result has been hardship and scarcity for the Cuban people.
Because our partners in the Cuban churches – congregants, ministers, and their communities – are severely affected by these measures, we have called for their end.
The proposal to add Cuba to the list of state sponsors of terrorism would only worsen this situation and harm those who are already suffering from economic problems.
For all these reasons, we strongly oppose any decision to add Cuba to the list of state sponsors of terrorism and urge you not to do so.
Alliance of Baptists
American Baptist National Missionary Societies
Armenian Orthodox Church
Church World Service
Committee of Friends of the National Legislation
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ
Latin America Working Group
Mennonite Central Committee Washington Office, USA
National Council of Churches of Christ USA
Pax Christi USA
Presbyterian Church (USA)
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society