Cuba's Support for Venezuela's Paramilitary "Colectivos" Constitutes Terrorism

Thursday, May 1, 2014
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of State released its 2013 Country Reports on Terrorism ("Report"), which retains Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan as "state-sponsors of terrorism."

Yet, in the summary of Cuba's practices, it fails to mention the arming and training of Venezuela's violent paramilitary groups, known as "colectivos."

This has been documented by former Venezuelan intelligence and military officials.

The Report uses Section 2656f(d) of Title 22 of the U.S. Code to define certain key terms, namely:

(1) the term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country;

(2) the term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents;

Cuba has been arming and training Venezuela's "colectivos" for years. Since the latest student protests began in February, they have been the catalysts for extra-judicial violence, including beatings and murder.

Pursuant to the definition of "international terrorism," this constitutes Cuban-sponsored violence in another country, Venezuela.

Moreover, the premeditated, political violence perpetuated by the "colectivos" against student protesters ("non-combatant targets") constitutes "terrorism."

The violence against the student protesters has come to fruition this year and has been documented for the world to see.

It should not be omitted from next year's report.