Cuba has been placed back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism by the US, citing the communist country's backing of Venezuela. Cuba called Trump’s parting shot "political opportunism". Lame-duck President Donald Trump's administration made the announcement just days before he left the White House. Incoming President Joe Biden previously said he wants to improve US-Cuban relations.
Biden has said he is seeking closer ties between the long-term adversaries but Trump's decision is likely to hinder a quick repair of relations. Cuba's place on the list will require a formal review that could take months. It was removed from the list by President Barack Obama in 2015, but Trump has taken a harder line.
When explaining the decision, officials cited Cuba's support of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro who the US refuses to recognise. "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 US justice," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.