Cuba raps US for keeping it on terror blacklist

The United States has resorted to "old, unprovable arguments" to keep Cuba on a US blacklist of countries that allegedly support terrorism, an official Cuban website charged Friday.

"The news is well-worn: Since 1982, the US State Department has included the island on its annual blacklist and each year fattens its incoherent arguments," an article on www.cubadebate.cu said.

Washington "has resorted for the umpteenth time to old, unprovable arguments," before "stating facts that proves how serious the island tackles the scourge" of terrorism, it said.

The State Department said Thursday that despite Cuba's public stance against terror and terror financing, there "was no evidence" that it "had severed ties with elements from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

It also pointed to reports that current and former members of the Basque separatist group ETA live in the communist island.

The website recalled a September 2009 diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks in which Jonathan Farrar, the head of the US interests section in Cuba, wrote that State Department official Bisa Williams had said during a visit to the island that Cuba could be removed from the list.

"Neither Farrar, nor Bisa Williams, nor any sane person could include Cuba... on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism," said Cubadebate, which asked: "Who is the United States trying to deceive?"

The blacklisted countries -- Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria -- receive no economic aid from the United States, nor benefit from trade advantages or financial treaties.

AFP

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