by Kerry Picket
Cuba is still involved in state-sponsored terrorism, says Jaime Suchlicki, Director of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) at the University of Miami.
Cuba’s removal from the state sponsor terrorist list appears at odds with disturbing evidence collected for a report on Cuba’s terrorist ties posted by ICCAS last month.
“I think this is an unwarranted concession. Number one—Cuba is still involved with terrorism and is still harboring American and Spanish terrorists in Cuba—is still involved with Hamas and Hezbollah,” Suchlicki told the Daily Caller. “Cuba is an ally of Iran and Venezuela and Cuba hasn’t made any concessions of actually the system opening up not repressing dissidents in Cuba. Why are we making concessions without anything in return?”
The report, points out that in 2014 the Castro government declared it would begin to freeze bank assets affiliated to al-Qaida in Cuba. “The Castro regime thus tacitly admitted that they had been facilitating financing of terrorism,” ICCAS notes.
Suchlicki says the Cuban government is providing intelligence for both Hamas and Hezbollah.
“Although there are some Spanish terrorists in Cuba as part of an agreement with the Spanish government there are others that are fugitives of the Spanish government and they have been trying to get them and the Cubans refuse. There is Joanne Chesimard. She got involved with the killing of a policeman in New Jersey,” he said.
Chesimard fled the United States for Cuba in 1979 during a prison break 2 years after she was convicted of killing execution-style New Jersey State trooper Werner Foerster. She has been living in Castro’s regime ever since. According to the New York Times, she has been studying, writing and, caring for her daughter “as a guest” of the Cuban Government, which refuses to extradite her to the United States.
According to ICCAS, “Two Arab Shiites, Ghazi Nasr Al din and Fawzi Kanaan have set-up shop in Caracas, Venezuela under the protection of the Venezuelan government. Working in coordination with the Cuban government, both are active in promoting Hezbollah and Iranian targets in South America and against the U.S.”
ICCAS says both the Cuban and Venezuelan governments “fundraise for Hezbollah, facilitate travel for Hezbollah activists to Venezuela and through Venezuela to other countries. This is all part of the strategic alliance between Venezuela, Cuba and Iran.”
Additionally, ICCAS claims Cuban military officers act as liaisons between the Venezuelan military and the narco-guerrillas of the Colombian FARC.
FALN Puerto Rican terrorist bomb maker William Morales, armed robber Victor Gerena, plane hijacker and cop killer Charles Hill, and Frank Terpil, a former CIA officer and convicted arms trafficker are also believed to be living in Cuba. Gerena even managed to bring $7 million from a bank heist to Cuba with him.
More recently in 2013, the report states, “the Castro regime was caught smuggling weapons out of Cuba on a North Korean vessel in violation of UN sanctions” and lied about it to the international community.
The official UN Report on “Cuba-North Korea Illegal Weapons Trafficking,” published in March 2014, revealed “a comprehensive, planned strategy to conceal the existence and nature of the cargo.”
The Obama administration maintains that removing Cuba from the state sponsor of terrorism list was the correct policy move based on criteria that the Cuban government supposedly met.
“As President Obama noted recently in a separate media interview and in comments subsequently to that, we’re going to continue to have differences with Cuba, including some profound differences on issues that are important in terms of values of U.S. support for democracy and human rights,” a State Department official told a reporter Tuesday.
“However, those differences are not necessarily going to be a factor in whether or not Cuba is a designee as a state sponsor of terrorism. Whether they engage in repressive or authoritarian activities in their own country, whether they have relationships with countries that are adversaries of the United States are not necessarily a factor in making this determination. This determination was based on the facts and the statutory criteria.”