[News] Cuba challenges TSA list

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Sun Jan 10 12:36:21 EST 2010


cubanmission.com

Declaration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba

On Monday January 4, press reports indicated that 
as from that day, the US Transport Security 
Administration was applying additional security 
measures, at every airport in the world, to any 
passenger carrying a passport from the countries 
the State Department has listed as “sponsors of 
international terrorism.” Among the countries 
unfairly and arbitrarily included in that list 
are Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan as well as other 
countries “of interest” such as: Afghanistan, 
Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, 
Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen. The measures 
also apply to any person making a stopover in any of these 14 nations.

It has been reported that the decision to impose 
these new measures was adopted after an attempted 
terrorist action against an American Northwest 
Airlines aircraft aimed for Detroit city last December 25.

According to statements from unidentified 
American officials ran by the press, the 
passengers that qualify in these categories will 
be subjected to body search and their hand 
luggage will be thoroughly checked using 
sophisticated explosive-detection techniques or imaging scanners.

In the evening of January 5, after a meeting with 
members of his National Security staff, President 
Barack Obama confirmed the adoption of the 
abovementioned regulations, in effect since the 
previous day, affecting “passengers traveling to 
the United States from or through the nations in 
our list of states sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest.”

That same evening, the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs of Cuba and its Interests Section in 
Washington presented a Note of protest to the US 
Interests Section in Havana and the State Department, respectively.

In the Note, the MINREX categorically rebuffs 
this new hostile action by the US administration 
arising from the unjustified inclusion of Cuba in 
the so-called list of ‘States sponsors of 
terrorism’ for purely political reasons and with 
the single purpose of justifying the blockade 
policy that the international community has so overwhelmingly condemned.

The Note contests the elaboration of such lists 
and underlines facts that prove Cuba’s impeccable 
record in the fight on terrorism, an evil of 
which it has historically been the victim. It 
also reaffirms that the arguments used by the US 
administration to justify our country’s inclusion 
in its list of “States sponsors of terrorism” are 
absolutely baseless, and demands its immediate 
removal from that arbitrary list.

That same day, in response to an AFP question on 
the MINREX Note of protest, a State Department 
spokesman said that “Cuba is a country that 
supports terrorist activities, therefore, its 
citizens and travelers in air transit should be 
subjected to additional controls for security reasons.”

Following the public announcement of this new 
measure, columnists of major US newspapers like 
the Washington Post have referred to Cuba’s 
designation as a “terrorist State” as something 
“ridiculous” and “unwarranted,” and have recalled 
that our country poses no threat to the security 
of the United States, adding that looking for 
terrorists in flights coming from Cuba “is a waste of time.”

Again on January 5, 2010, State Department 
spokesman Philip Crowley stated that Cuba’s 
designation as a “State sponsor of terrorism” is 
“well-earned.” Next day, January 6, another 
spokesman repeated to AFP the worn out pretexts 
that supposedly justify keeping Cuba in the terrorist list.

As one more element of its policy of hostility 
and its propaganda campaigns aimed at 
discrediting the Revolution, in 1982, long before 
the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City, 
the Ronald Reagan administration unjustly 
included Cuba in the annual State Department list 
of “States sponsors of international terrorism.”

The insertion of Cuba in that list led to the 
implementation of new economic sanctions that 
included freezing financial transactions, 
preventing technology transfer and executing 
restrictive and isolationist actions against the 
country and its citizens.  These sanctions would 
be added to the already Draconian regulations 
derived from the economic, commercial and 
financial blockade imposed since the beginning of the Revolution.

Every year, the US administration has kept Cuba 
on that list resorting to different pretexts, all 
of them unsustainable, while unable to offer any 
evidence of our country’s involvement in any terrorist action.

On April 30, 2009, Obama’s administration 
ratified the absurd inclusion of Cuba in that 
list while insisting that “the Cuban government 
continues to provide save haven to various 
terrorists,” that “members of ETA, the FARC and 
the ELN have remained in Cuba during 2008” 
and  that “it continues to allow some US 
fugitives to have legal residence in Cuba.” This 
was strongly denied by the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs and motivated a Reflection by comrade 
Fidel challenging the United States to discuss the issue.

Cuba has revealed the past sufficient information 
to prove the falsity of such pretexts and their 
manipulative nature. This was also extensively 
described in the Declaration of the Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs entitled “Cuba has nothing to 
hide and nothing to be ashamed of,” published on May 2, 2003.

The presence of various exiled members of the 
Basque organization ETA was not initiated by 
Cuba; it originated in a request from the Spanish 
governments concerned with the issue, with which 
an agreement was reached, more than one-fourth of 
a century ago, allowing a small group of members 
of that organization to travel to Cuba. Our 
country then established the strict rule that if 
any member of that group ever left the country 
they would be unable to return to Cuban territory.

The members of ETA living in Cuba have never used 
our territory to conduct actions of that 
organization against Spain or any other country. 
Cuba has scrupulously abided by that agreement. 
The presence of ETA members in Cuba is a 
bilateral issue discussed with the Spanish 
government in various contacts. The US 
administration has no right or authority to 
interfere in these affairs which do not involve 
or affect in any way its national security or that of any other country.

As to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia 
(FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) of 
Colombia, it is widely known that, at a certain 
point, both the Colombian government and these 
guerrilla forces converged in asking Cuba to 
participate in the peace process. In that 
framework, Cuba has been a member of the Group of 
Countries Facilitators of the dialogue and of the 
Group of Friendly Countries to the Peace Talks 
and has hosted several rounds of negotiations.

The transparent position of the Cuban government 
and its contribution to the peace process has 
been publicly recognized not only by the FARC and 
the ELN but also by the United Nations and the Colombian government.

As to the presence in Cuba of fugitives of the US 
justice, it would be worthwhile repeating that no 
terrorist from any country has ever found save 
haven or residence in our territory. Cuba has 
legitimately offered protection and political 
asylum to some American civil right fighters.

Also living in Cuba are other American citizens 
who have broken the law, mainly aircraft 
hijackers. These people were tried in court and 
severely punished and after serving their 
sentences requested to remain in the country. It 
was the Cuban government that adopted the 
necessary measures that during Carter’s 
government definitely put an end to plane 
hijackings, a scourge that had originated in the United States.

In contrast, since the triumph of the Revolution 
the US administration has welcomed to its 
territory hundreds of criminals, murderers and 
terrorists, ignoring the formal requests for 
their return filed by the Cuban government in 
every case, in accordance with the Extradition 
Accords that were then in effect. Many of these 
individuals still walk free and undisturbed the 
streets of that country, even when they have been 
involved in other terrorist actions against 
citizens and interests of the United States, Cuba 
and other nations. The most notorious and 
appalling case was the blasting of a Cubana 
Airlines passengers’ plane on October 6, 1976, 
that took the lives of 73 people; this was the 
first terrorist action against a commercial 
airliner in mid flight in the Western Hemisphere. 
The authors --Orlando Bosch Avila and Luis Posada 
Carriles-- have lived and still live unpunished 
in Miami. The former received a presidential 
pardon from George H.W.Bush while the latter 
awaits a protracted trial under charges of deceit 
and obstruction of justice in a migratory case 
but not for international terrorism as his actions warrant.

Those same State Department reports that 
designate Cuba as a “State sponsor of terrorism” 
have been unable to overlook some of these truths.

Cuba refuses to accept the illegitimate mechanism 
used by the US administration to take upon itself 
the right of certifying the behavior of other 
nations with respect to terrorism and to issue 
politically motivated, discriminatory and 
selective lists while assuming a double-standard 
position and failing to take to trial the 
confessed culprits of horrible terrorist actions 
against Cuba who are instead allowed to go free.

An example of this is provided by our Five Heroes 
-- Gerardo, Fernando, Ramón, Antonio and René­who 
are serving arbitrary and unfair sentences in 
American prisons for protecting Cuba, --3478 of 
whose citizens were killed and 2099 maimed by 
terrorist actions-- and also for defending the 
integrity of citizens from the United States and other countries.

Cuba has always behaved in an exemplary manner in the fight on terrorism:

-         Cuba condemns every act of terrorism, 
in all forms and manifestations;
-         The Cuban territory has never been used 
nor will it ever be used to arrange, finance or 
implement terrorist actions against any other 
country, including the United States;
-         Cuba is a Party to the 13 international 
conventions on terrorism and it strictly observes 
the obligations set forth in UN Security Council 
Resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540 on this matter;
-         Cuba does not have, nor does it intend 
to have, any kind of weapon of mass destruction 
and it abides by its obligations stemming from 
the international instruments it has signed 
related to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons;
-         The National Assembly of People’s Power 
of the Republic of Cuba adopted on December 20, 
2001, the Act 93 ‘Against Terrorist Actions,’ 
defining every act of international terrorism as 
a serious crimes and establishing very severe sentences;
-         Additionally, Cuba has adopted measures 
to prevent and suppress every act of terrorism 
and every action related to them, including 
financing terrorism. Likewise, it has increased 
surveillance along its borders and promoted 
actions to thwart the trafficking of weapons and 
to intensify juridical cooperation with other 
countries. To this end, it has signed 35 
agreements for juridical assistance and 
repeatedly expressed its continued willingness to 
cooperate with very State in this area;
-         In this spirit, Cuba has cooperated, 
even actively, with the US administration. On 
three occasions, --November 2001, December 2001 
and March 2002-- Cuba proposed to the US 
authorities a draft program of bilateral 
cooperation to combat terrorism; and on July 
2009, Cuba reiterated its willingness to cooperate in this area;
-         On various occasions, the Cuban 
authorities have let the US administration know 
of its willingness to exchange information on 
plans to carry out attacks and/or terrorist 
actions on targets located in either one of the 
two countries. It is also known that in 1984 Cuba 
alerted on a plan to attempt against the life of 
President Ronald Reagan which led to the 
neutralization of those involved by the US 
authorities. In 1998, information was transferred 
to the William F.Clinton administration on plans 
to blow up planes from Cuban airlines or from 
other countries traveling to Cuba;
-         Likewise, the Cuban authorities have 
provided the US government with plenty of 
information on terrorist actions carried out 
against Cuba. In 1997, 1998, 2005 and 2006, Cuba 
handed over to the FBI numerous evidence on a 
string of bombs set up in various Cuban tourist 
resorts, and even gave them access to those 
responsible for such actions detained in Cuba and to some witnesses;
-          It should not be forgotten that Cuba 
was one of the first countries to publicly 
condemn the criminal terrorist attacks of 
9/11-2001 in the United States; that it expressed 
its willingness to provide medical and 
humanitarian assistance to the victims and that 
it immediately opened its air space and airports 
to passenger planes flying towards American 
territory. Despite the numerous terrorist actions 
against Cuba originated in the US territory, our 
country has observed a clean and flawless conduct 
with regards to any event that could affect US 
citizens because Cuba is a nation guided by 
political principles and ethical standards.

The government of Cuba, loyal to its honor and 
dignity, condemns the arbitrary inclusion of Cuba 
in the list of 14 countries whose citizens will 
be the subject of new restrictive measures determined by the US Administration.

The government of Cuba also demands the immediate 
removal of Cuba from the list of “States sponsors 
of international terrorism,” since it is an 
unfair, arbitrary and politically motivated 
designation that contradicts the exemplary 
conduct of our country in the struggle against 
terrorism and calls into question the seriousness 
of the United States in the fight against that scourge.

Similarly, it urges the US administration to act 
firmly and  without double standards, --as an 
expression of its commitment to the antiterrorist 
struggle-- against those that have carried out 
terrorist actions on Cuba from the US territory; 
and to free the Five Heroes who are Cuban 
antiterrorists unjustly incarcerated in that country.

Havana, January 7, 2010
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba




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