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Cuba condemns terrorism and political manipulation

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People wearing masks are seen on a street in Havana, Cuba, March 23, 2020. (Photo by Joaquin Hernandez/Xinhua)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states its strong rejection of the slanderous inclusion of Cuba in a US State Department list of countries that are allegedly not cooperating fully with US efforts against terrorism that was made public on May 13 and that was strongly rejected by President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.

It is a unilateral and arbitrary listing without any base, authority or international support whatsoever which, as it is known, only aids the intentions to defame and pressure countries refusing to bend to the will of the US government in their sovereign decisions. The main argument given by the US government was the presence in Cuban territory of the members of the delegation to the peace talks of the National Liberation Army (ELN) of Colombia.

As it is widely known, the delegation to the peace talks of the National Liberation Army (ELN) of Colombia are in Cuba because Ecuador suddenly renounced to continue being the venue of such talks and, at the request of the Colombian government and the ELN, the venue for the peace process was transferred to Havana in May 2018.

These peace talks had begun on Feb 7, 2017, in Quito, Ecuador. Cuba, together with Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela and Norway, has been a guarantor of the peace process as requested by the parties.

After Ivan Duque Marquez was inaugurated as president of Colombia on Aug 7, 2018, the representatives of his government, beginning on Aug 8 that year and until January 2019, had several exchanges with Cuba and the ELN delegation to the peace talks to continue the dialogues that had started during the Santos presidency – a process in which our country observed due discretion and acted strictly in its capacity as a guarantor.

Immediately after the bombing of the Police Cadet Academy in Bogota on Jan 17, 2019, the president of the Republic of Cuba and his minister of foreign affairs immediately expressed their condolences to the Colombian government and people and particularly to the relatives of the victims in the bombing, and they restated Cuba´s strong position of rejecting and condemning all terrorist acts, methods and practices in all their forms and manifestations.

Then the Colombian government took political and legal actions against the ELN delegation to the peace talks in Cuba and stopped the peace dialogue. Additionally, it decided to ignore the Protocol in Case of Rupture, thus openly abandoning and violating the commitments made by that state with the other six nations that had signed it.

The Protocol in Case of Rupture was signed in the framework of the peace talks held by the government of Colombia, the ELN and the guarantor countries on April 5, 2016. It states the safe return of the guerrilla delegation to Colombia in the case there is an end to talks. The Cuban government has stated, and it continues to state today that, based on the agreed documents, the protocol should be implemented.

Such a stance, that is widely supported by the international community and by circles committed with reaching for a negotiated settlement to the Colombian armed conflict, is an accepted universal practice that has been repeatedly ratified as it abides by international law and the commitments of the country that is a guarantor and the venue of the talks. It is because of the non-implementation of this protocol that the members of the ELN delegation to the peace talks are still in Cuba.

The Colombian government has embarked on a series of hostile actions against Cuba, including public statements, threats and summons, through a politically-motivated manipulation of the contribution of Cuba to peace in Colombia.

Among such actions, there was a change in the historical position of Colombia in support of the Resolution that has been passed every year in the United Nations General Assembly demanding an end to the US economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba which is bringing damage and suffering to our people.

As a country that has been a victim of terrorism, Cuba deplores any form of manipulation and political opportunism when dealing with such a sensitive issue. XINHUA

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