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Cuba Objects to US Terror Designation

Cuba's President Raul Castro waves to workers as he watches the May Day march in Havana, Cuba, May 1, 2014.
Cuba is objecting to its continued inclusion on the U.S. State Department's list of "state sponsors of terrorism.''

The Cuban Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling the designation "absurd.'' It accused Washington of trying to justify its 54-year-old economic embargo against the island.

The 2013 U.S. global terrorism report notes Havana is hosting peace talks between Colombia's government and FARC rebels. The report also says there is no information Cuba provided "weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups."

Cuba has been on the U.S. terror list since 1982. The list also names Iran, Syria and Sudan as countries that have"repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism."

The report also mentions the presence of U.S. fugitives in Cuba. The Cuban Foreign Ministry statement countered that none are terrorists, and those who committed crimes were punished on the island.

The designation of being a terror sponsor carries economic sanctions beyond those already imposed in the U.S. trade embargo of Cuba.

The trade embargo was imposed in 1960 in response to Cuba's revolutionary communist government's seizure of U.S. properties on the island. It has been strengthened over the years and includes almost all U.S. exports to Cuba, except for food and medicine.