Cuba condemns its inclusion on a United States list of countries that do not fully cooperate with counterterrorism efforts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday, denouncing the move as “unilateral” and “arbitrary.”
“This is a unilateral and arbitrary list, without ground, authority or international support,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.
It was the first time that Cuba was not certified since 2015. The United States State Department said it was because of the presence of negotiators from Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group, who traveled to Cuba’s capital Havana in 2017 to negotiate with the Bogota government but have not returned.
Cuba’s foreign ministry called the presence of ELN members in Cuba “a dishonest and weak pretext” by the United States.
Washington severed its diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961. In 2015, the Obama administration removed Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism as the two countries re-established diplomatic ties. However, U.S. sanctions on Cuba have not been fully lifted.