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Cuba Criticizes New US Arline Passenger Screening Rules

Cuba has described as "anti-terrorist paranoia" new U.S. rules that tighten security checks for airline passengers who travel from or through the Caribbean island and 13 other countries en route to the United States.

Cuban authorities criticized the new security policies Monday in an article published in the state-run Granma newspaper. The article noted that the United States accuses Cuba of supporting terrorism.

The new security procedures follow the botched Christmas Day bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound U.S. airliner traveling from Amsterdam.

There are no regular commercial flights between Cuba and the U.S., but charter flights connect the U.S. with the communist-led island.

Last year, U.S. President Barack Obama eased restrictions on travel and money transfers by Cuban-Americans to family members in Cuba. The president, however, said the long-standing U.S. embargo against Cuba would remain in place until Havana takes steps toward democratic reforms.

Cuba is one of four nations on the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism - along with Iran, Sudan and Syria.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.