Terrorism: Cuba has protested its place on the U.S. list of terror-prone nations slated for extra airport screening. But a look at the country's record as a state sponsor of terror proves that its placement is well-earned.
On Tuesday, Cuba blasted the U.S. for including it on a list of 14 nations whose nationals would be subject to extra-screening on inbound U.S. flights in the wake of the attempted terror attack over Detroit on Christmas Day.
"Everyone knows they are politically motivated and only designed to justify the blockade against Cuba," a Cuban foreign ministry minion protested to the Associated Press Tuesday. And columnists such as the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson echoed that, arguing Cuba didn't belong on the list because ordinary Cubans had no access to explosives and no history of radical Islam.
The arguments beg the question. No, Cuba is not a Somalia-like terrorist breeding ground. But it is a state sponsor of terrorism. It's earned that designation since 1982, providing critical support to nonstate terrorist groups. "Without state sponsors, terrorist groups would have greater difficulty obtaining the funds, weapons, materials, and secure areas they require to plan and conduct operations," the State Department Web site says.
Contrary to the Cuban official's claim, that's not based on politics, but on concrete criteria. "We think it's a well-earned designation," said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley Wednesday.