US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (File Photo, Image credit: The Indian Express)

Trump Administration wakes up to once again put Cuba on blacklist

Just 9 days before the transfer of power to Joe Biden, the Donald Trump Administration overturned the 2015 decision taken by the then Barack Obama administration on Cuba.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced the decision to put Cuba in the blacklist of countries sponsoring terrorism. The other countries in the list are Iran, Syria and North Korea.

Independent political analysts are of the view that the decision has less to do with the policy of the outgoing Trump administration and more to complicate the matter for the coming Biden administration which wants to improve ties with Havana.

Obama on March 20, 2016 became the first US President to visit Cuba in 88 years since Calvin Coolidge made a trip to the country in 1928.

However, US Secretary of State justified the decision to impose sanctions on Havana by accusing it of “repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbour to terrorists”.

It needs to be mentioned that immediately after coming to power in 2017 the Trump Administration cancelled the nuclear deal with Iran signed by the then Obama Administration and five other countries namely China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and Germany.

Experts are surprised over such a major foreign policy decision being taken by the Trump Administration just hours before the US Congress is likely to move proceedings to impeach the President.

However, it needs to be mentioned that Pompeo has also announced that on January 19, that is just a day before the transfer of power the Houthi rebels will be designated as a ‘foreign terrorist organisation’. Ever since the November 3 defeat the Republican Administration has taken several major foreign policy initiatives in the Middle East and North Africa, for example the restoration of ties between Israel and Morocco. On November 22 Mike Pompeo organized a meeting between Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Saudi Arabian resort city of Neom.

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