Grupo Bipartidista de Congresistas Urge a La Administración A Mantener a Cuba en la Lista de Estados Patrocinadores del Terrorismo

Apr 29, 2013

(WASHINGTON) – Un grupo bipartidista de Congresistas (Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart, y Albio Sires) explicaron hoy en una carta al Secretario de Estado John Kerry las razones para mantener a Cuba en la lista de Estados Patrocinadores del Terrorismo.

Se adjunta una copia firmada de la carta y el texto de la carta se encuentra a continuación.

Declaración de Ros-Lehtinen:

“El régimen castrista debe seguir siendo designado como un Estado Patrocinador del Terrorismo porque

  • apoya y colabora con patrocinadores del terrorismo como Irán y Siria;
  • ofrece un refugio seguro a miembros de organizaciones terroristas como las FARC y el ETA;
  • alberga a fugitivos norteamericanos; (como el matador de policía Joanne Chesimard)
  • injustamente detiene como rehén a un ciudadano norteamericano (como Alan Gross);
  • dió la orden para derribar las avionetas de Hermanos al Rescate, resultando en las muertes de ciudadanos estadounidenses; y
  • continúa sus actividades de espionage dirigidas a socavar los intereses norteamericanos y que representan una amenaza a nuestra seguridad nacional.

Estos son solamente algunos ejemplos de porque el régimen castrista merece continuar en la lista de terrorismo del Departamento de Estado. La semana pasada funcionarios estadounidenses acusaron a Marta Rita Velazquez, una ex-empleada de USAID que ayudó a reclutar a la espía convicta Ana Belen Montes, demostrando la amenaza activa que representa el régimen castrista a los Estados Unidos.”

NOTA: Bajo la ley estadounidense, el Secretario de Estado tiene que presentar al Congreso el 30 de abril de cada año, un reporte completo sobre el terrorismo con respecto a los países y organizaciones que cumplen con los criterios establecidos en la legislación. Este reporte anual se titula Reportes de Países Sobre el Terrorismo. No hay un plazo legal para la designación de países como estados patrocinadores del terrorismo.

Text of letter below:

April 29, 2013

The Honorable John Kerry


U.S. Department of State

Washington, DC 20521


Dear Secretary Kerry:

As Cuban-American Members of Congress, we write to express the critical importance of continuing to list the Cuban dictatorship as a state sponsor of terrorism pursuant to section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act. 

As you know, the Castro regime maintains close ties with Iran and Syria, two other U.S.-designated state sponsors of terrorism.  Cuba and Iran have signed numerous cooperative and trade agreements, and have worked together to jam American and other outside information from piercing the information blockades imposed on their oppressed peoples.  Cuba and Syria continue to increase their economic ties, shared hatred towards the United States and our ally Israel, and the Castro regime supports the Assad regime as it continues to murder tens of thousands.

The regime in Cuba has also been directly responsible for terrorist acts, such as the 1996 shoot-down of the Brothers to the Rescue planes over international waters and the resulting murder of three innocent Americans and one U.S. resident.  There remain three outstanding indictments against the Cuban Air Force pilots, Lorenzo Alberto Pérez-Pérez and Francisco Pérez-Pérez, and the head of the Cuban Air Force, General Rubén Martínez Puente, for that act egregious act of international terrorism.  We would urge you to indict Fidel and Raul Castro for ordering these brutal attacks against American civilians.

The Castro regime also maintains an active espionage network against the United States.  Convicted Cuban spies include Ana Belen Montes, the five “WASP” spies, and Gwendolyn and Walter Meyers. In addition, most recently, it has come to our attention that a former U.S. Agency for International Development employee named Marta Rita Velazquez was indicted with conspiracy to commit espionage because she helped recruit Ana Belen Montes to spy on behalf of the Cuban regime.  

The Cuban dictatorship maintains close links to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, which held hostage American citizens and continues terrorist acts against the strong U.S. ally Colombia.  The Castro regime continues to provide safe harbor and assistance to members of the FARC, and provides a refuge for terrorist members of the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), also a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.

Furthermore, the Cuban regime continues to provide safe harbor to more than seventy fugitives who fled U.S. justice including:

  • Joanne Chesimard, who murdered New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster during a routine traffic stop and was convicted of first degree murder, assault and battery of a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to kill, illegal possession of a weapon, and armed robbery, and remains one of the Top Ten “Featured Fugitives” on the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism List;
  • Victor Manuel Gerena, on the FBI’s list of the ‘Ten Most Wanted’ fugitives for carrying out a brutal $7 million robbery of a Wells Fargo armored car in Connecticut.

It is unconscionable that these violent fugitives escaped U.S. justice only to be welcomed by their Cuban hosts.  It underscores that any enemy of the United States is considered a friend to the Castro regime.

Finally, no assessment of the true nature of the Cuban dictatorship is complete without examining the regime’s brutal repression of pro-democracy activists and anyone else who attempts to pierce the regime’s information blockade.  Numerous reports have indicated that repression in Cuba has escalated in recent months with brutal beatings targeted against the Ladies in White, independent journalists, religious leaders, artists, and many others. On March 12, 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before Congress that, “There is no indication that Castro’s efforts, including his stated interest in laying the groundwork for a generational transition in leadership, will loosen the regime’s grip on power.” Furthermore, the regime’s continued and unjustifiable imprisonment of U.S. humanitarian aid worker Alan Gross since December 2009 is another example of the regime’s moral depravity.  Mr. Gross’ “crime” was attempting to connect Cuba’s small Jewish community to the internet.  In Castro’s Cuba, the most innocuous acts are “crimes” which can result in long prison sentences in abhorrent conditions.   

The regime in Cuba has not changed.  In 2008, the Bush Administration mistakenly removed North Korea from the state sponsor of terrorism list. Now, the North Korean regime continues to increase tensions in the region putting the lives of our allies and of U.S. citizens in danger. The Cuban regime has deepened ties with other terrorist states and terrorist organizations, actively opposed U.S. interests, provided safe harbor to dangerous fugitives, escalated its brutal campaign of oppression against its own citizens, and refused to release U.S. citizen Alan Gross for more than three years.  To award a unilateral concession to the Castro dictatorship would encourage the regime to continue its reprehensible ways at the expense of the Cuban people and America’s interests. 

For these reasons, we firmly believe that the brutal Castro dictatorship should remain on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist states.