160 lawyers, mostly US, urge Biden to take Cuba off 'terror list'
A group of attorneys calls on the US President "to immediately initiate a review and notification process to remove Cuba from the SSOT list."
A group of 160 mostly American lawyers called Friday on US President Joe Biden to remove Cuba from the so-called "State Sponsors of Terrorism" (SSOT) list, the Common Dreams news website reported.
According to the website, the attorneys called on Biden "to immediately initiate a review and notification process to remove Cuba from the SSOT list."
In a letter by the Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect (ACERE), the attorneys pointed out that "there is no legal or moral justification for Cuba to remain on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list."
"Given the tremendous economic, social, humanitarian, and commercial effect placement on the SSOT list has had for the Cuba people, maintaining it for such pretextual reasons continues to be a stain on U.S. foreign policy," the letter considered.
The Reagan administration first place Cuba on the SSOT list in 1982, after which Cuba witnessed decades of US sanctions, assassination attempts, and subversion to topple Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
In 2015, then-US President Barack Obama removed Cuba from the list. However, relations deteriorated under his successor Donald Trump, who reinforced sanctions on the Caribbean island nation.
Havana previously highlighted that US-backed terrorism has killed or wounded more than 5,000 Cubans and cost its economy billions of dollars.
"Policy—and electoral—concerns appear to have always kept Cuba on the SSOT list, rather than actually meeting the legal requirements to be on there," the letter considered, citing a former Bill Clinton administration Cuba expert who admitted that "frankly, I don't know anyone inside or outside of government who believes in private that Cuba belongs on the terrorist list."
"People who defend it know it is a political calculation," the expert said, pointing out that "it keeps a certain part of the voting public in Florida happy, and it doesn't cost anything."
The Common Dreams news website highlighted that "more than 100 progressive groups and over 10,000 people have signed petitions and open letters urging Biden to lift Cuba's SSOT designation."
It is noteworthy that Cuba has been under US sanctions for 60 years. Despite election promises, Biden has not reversed the measures, in fact hardening his speech following US-backed anti-government riots on the Caribbean island nation in July 2021.
Read more: Cuba’s hero, American spy: Ana Belen Montes
Cuban FM: US ignored UN vote to lift embargo on Cuba 29 times
It is noteworthy that during his speech at the UN General Assembly in New York in late November 2022, Cuban Foreign Minister Rodriguez Parilla decried the 60 years of US economic embargo against Cuba which he described as "vast, cruel and immoral."
Parilla explained that "the government of the US is reinforcing pressure on banking institutions, companies, and governments throughout the world that are interested in establishing relations with Cuba, and the US continues to obsessively pursue all sources of foreign exchange coming into the country to bring about the economic collapse of the nation."
The Cuban diplomat recalled that the UNGA had voted 29 times, with an overwhelming majority, to end the "ruthless and unilateral" embargo on Cuba, noting that the US ignored the assembly's decision 29 times.
"Thirty years have now elapsed since the first general assembly voted against this blockade, and at this time, the US continues to ignore the almost unanimous demand from you to cease its illegal and brutal policy against Cuba," Parilla indicated, urging the US to remove the Caribbean island from the list of "state sponsors of terrorism."
Read more: US, Cuba to restart talks on law enforcement: State Department