WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
7 Jan 2021 | Joint Statement

Faith Community Opposes Cuba’s Potential Designation as “State Sponsor of Terrorism”

The Honorable Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
Washington, D.C.

Dear Secretary Pompeo,

Press reports suggest that you are considering adding Cuba once again to the list of “state sponsors of terrorism,” and we write to express our strong opposition.

There is no justification for adding Cuba to this list. While the U.S. has policy disagreements with Cuba about a range of issues, these issues are unrelated to state sponsorship of terrorism. Adding Cuba to the list of state sponsors of terrorism will be perceived internationally as a political gesture, which will undermine U.S. credibility on the terrorism issue.

Designating Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism would be not only misguided, but cruel. While it would not tighten existing sanctions on U.S. businesses in trading with Cuba, it would harm the Cuban people, including the families, communities, and congregations that are our partners. It would complicate some third country sales to Cuba and discourage foreign investment.

The Cuban economy has been dealt several harsh blows in recent years, including U.S.-imposed restrictions on family remittances, the contraction in the number of U.S. visitors as a result of travel limitations imposed during this administration, the COVID lockdown, U.S. efforts to restrict oil shipments to Cuba, and Cuba’s own internal economic challenges. The result has been hardships and shortages for the Cuban people.

As our partners in the Cuban churches—congregants, ministers, and their communities—are severely affected by these measures, we have called for their end.

The proposal to add Cuba to the state sponsors of terrorism list would only worsen this situation and hurt those already enduring economic pain.

For all these reasons, we strongly oppose any decision to add Cuba to the list of state sponsors of terror and urge you not to do so.


Alliance of Baptists
American Baptist Home Mission Societies
Armenian Orthodox Church
Church World Service
The Episcopal Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ
Latin America Working Group
Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office
National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA
Pax Christi USA
Presbyterian Church (USA)
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society