The Latin America Working Group and The Center for International Policy
Conference calling for Cuba’s removal from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism
Thursday December 1, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Zinger Room of the National Press Club at 529 14th St. NW in Washington, D.C.
One of the most cynical aspects of the U.S. policy toward Cuba is to keep it on the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism, for there is no evidence that would place it there. One need only read this year’s State Department report on the subject (a copy of which is available to conference attendees) to draw that conclusion. The report in fact begins by saying that “the Government of Cuba maintained a public stance against terrorism and terrorist financing in 2010.”
And it provides no evidence that the government violated that stance.
Not only does the United States lack evidence to keep Cuba on the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism, but maintaining Cuba’s position on the list is counterproductive to U.S. goals and interests, as our speakers will explain.
9:30 - Speakers begin
Mavis Anderson of the Latin America Working Group will introduce the speakers.
Wayne Smith of the Center for International Policy will discuss the history of the list, the long-standing lack of evidence on which to base it, and how Cuba could easily be removed from it.
Robert Muse of Muse and Associates will describe how the list opens the way to questionable court judgments against Cuba, now totaling billions of dollars, eventually creating perhaps an insurmountable obstacle to renewed trade relations.
Carlos Alzugaray, a professor at the University of Havana’s Center for the Study of the United States, now lecturing at Queens College in New York City, will point out that the list came out in a Cold-War context which no longer exists and now works against a change of policy by giving false ammunition to those who oppose a change. It also further isolates existing policy because most U.S. allies strongly disagree.
Sarah Stephens of the Center for Democracy in the Americas will discuss how keeping Cuba on the list reflects the archaic view that the aim of U.S. policy is to suffocate Cuba economically so that it will fail. Its designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism subjects Cuba to sanctions above and beyond those imposed by the embargo, and comes with considerable economic and diplomatic costs. She will argue that removing Cuba from the list would reflect U.S. interests and bring U.S. policy into alignment with the humanitarian interests of helping everyday Cubans lead more prosperous and autonomous lives.
Arturo Lopez Levy, now a lecturer at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, and formerly a Secretary of the Bnai Brith of the Cuban Jewish Community (1999-2001), points out that Cuba’s inclusion on the list is based on bogus allegations that undermine the credibility of the whole mechanism.
Time will also be allotted for questions from the audience.