HAVANA, April 1 (Xinhua) — The European Union (EU) has agreed to mediate in Cuba-U.S. relations, the Cuban News Agency (ACN) reported Thursday.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell on Wednesday accepted the request made by the Group of Friendship and Solidarity with the People of Cuba in the European Parliament “to mediate before the U.S. government in order to remove Cuba from the unilateral list of countries that encourage terrorism,” the ACN reported.
In a letter written by Borrell to members of the European Parliament, which was made public Wednesday on Twitter, the high representative said, “in our contacts with the new U.S. administration, we will address this issue and call on the U.S. to lift this designation.”
In response, Ana Mari Machado, deputy president of Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power, tweeted Wednesday that the assembly appreciated the EU’s decision.
“Cuba does not sponsor nor promote terrorism. We support peace, solidarity and collaboration between peoples,” she said.
Cuba should have never been included in the list, Cuba’s ambassador to China Carlos Miguel Pereira said Thursday on Twitter, adding that “Cuba only sponsors and promotes solidarity and peace, not terrorism.”
“The European Union clearly states its constructive commitment to Cuba,” Carlos Alzugaray, senior university professor and Cuba’s former ambassador to the EU, told Xinhua.
“It has also an economic dimension: the European Union protects its economic interests in Cuba, which are threatened by (former U.S. Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo’s unilateral action,” he added.
Cuba was first designated by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1982, and was removed from the list in 2015 under the administration of then U.S. President Barack Obama as the two countries re-established diplomatic ties.
However, on Jan. 11, 2020, just a few days before then U.S. President Donald Trump left office, Pompeo announced that the United States had restored Cuba to the list.
In early March, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in a daily briefing that the United States is committed to reviewing Trump administration’s designation. But she also said, “a Cuba policy shift is not currently among President (Joe) Biden’s top priorities.”