Cuba has slammed Washington's decision to list it as a state sponsoring terrorism and to subject Cuban citizens bound to the U.S. to additional security examinations, the Cuban Foreign Ministry said.
U.S. transport authorities ordered on Monday enhanced screening procedures for U.S.-bound air passengers traveling through "state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest."
Alberto Gonzalez, a spokesman at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, said in the ministry's statement that the people of Cuba "recognize no moral right at all for the U.S. government to include Cuba and Cubans in such lists."
A total of 14 countries were included in the Transportation Security Administration's "countries of interest" list. Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Iran are listed as those that sponsor terrorism. The other 10 countries of interest are Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.
Gonzales also said that Havana has been cooperating with the international community in the fight against terrorism and "has been and will always be retorting to internationally acknowledged measures against such cases."
"The territory of Cuba has never been used for organizing, financing and carrying out terrorist attacks neither against the United States nor any other country," he added.
Air security has been tightened in the U.S. following a failed Christmas Day bombing attempt over Detroit.
A 23-year-old Nigerian national, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a passenger on board an A330 passenger jet bound from Amsterdam to Detroit on December 25, tried to blow up a plane carrying some 300 people.
Abdulmutallab allegedly claimed after his arrest that he had acted on instructions from Al Qaeda. U.S. security officials have confirmed that his name was on the U.S. list of terrorist suspects.
Al Qaeda said in a statement posted on radical Islamist websites the attack carried out by its "brother" was retaliation for alleged U.S. strikes in Yemen in December.
HAVANA, January 7 (RIA Novosti)