World

State Department removes Cuba from short list of countries deemed uncooperative on counterterrorism

WASHINGTON — (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken removed Cuba Wednesday from the State Department's short list of countries that it deems less than fully cooperative against violent groups.

In a statement, the State Department said Blinken had found that Cuban and U.S. law enforcement were again working together on counterterrorism and other efforts.

The State Department had cited Cuba as a “not fully cooperating country” in 2022, saying that Cuba had refused to engage with Colombia in the extradition of members of the National Liberation Army group.

Colombia later dropped its arrest warrants for those members, however. "Moreover, the United States and Cuba resumed law enforcement cooperation in 2023, including on counterterrorism," Wednesday's statement said.

The State Department, in compliance with U.S. laws on arms exports, maintains a list of countries perceived as not cooperating fully on counterterrorism.

The U.S. kept North Korea, Syria, Iran and Venezuela on the list in Wednesday's rulings.

Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez acknowledged the decision, but he said that Washington could do more.

“The U.S. has just admitted what is known to everyone: that #Cuba fully collaborates with the efforts against terrorism,” Rodríguez said on X, formerly Twitter.

But he added that “all political manipulation of the issue should cease and our arbitrary and unjust inclusion on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism should end.”

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Associated Press writer Andrea Rodríguez reported from Havana.

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