Cuba returns to U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism

The Trump administration announced Monday that it was returning Cuba to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, a move that could complicate any efforts by the incoming Biden administration to revive Obama-era easing of strained relations with Havana.

Just nine days before President Donald Trump leaves office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Cuba was being blacklisted for "repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism" by harboring U.S. fugitives and Colombian rebel leaders.

Cuba’s security support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was also cited by Pompeo as another reason for the blacklist.

Pompeo said in a statement: "With this action, we will once again hold Cuba’s government accountable and send a clear message: the Castro regime must end its support for international terrorism and subversion of U.S. justice."

In 2015, former U.S. President Barack Obama formally removed Cuba from the terrorism list to help restore diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Returning Cuba to the list rolls back that effort, and would require lengthy legal deliberations for President-elect Joe Biden to reverse the move.

The terrorism designation carries a prohibition on U.S. economic aid and a ban on U.S. arms exports, among other restrictions.