In 2015, former President Barack Obama removed Cuba from the list as a state sponsor of terrorism as he moved to normalize relations and declared the half-century U.S. effort to isolate the communist island to be a failure.
The terror designation severely hampers investment by foreigners who will now risk USA prosecution and can only be removed after a formal review by the Biden administration, meaning it may be in force for months.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday accused Cuba of "granting safe harbor to terrorists" and attacked the country's support for Venezuela.
"With this act, we will hold the Cuban government accountable once again and send a clear message that the Castro regime must stop supporting worldwide terrorism and sabotaging American justice", Pompeo said in a statement.
"The United States will continue to support the Cuban people in their desire for a democratic government and respect for human rights, including freedom of religion, expression and association", he said.More news: Navalny announces return to Russian Federation despite legal threats
The statement cited that Cuba harbored several US fugitives from justice and supported Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro government that "created a permissive environment for global terrorists to live and thrive within Venezuela".
Just nine days before President Donald Trump leaves office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Cuba was being blacklisted for, quote, "repeatedly providing support for acts of worldwide terrorism" by harboring U.S. fugitives and Colombian rebel leaders.
Also on Monday, the US State Department moved to declare Yemen's Houthi rebels as a "terrorist organization".
Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez called the move "political opportunism" in a tweet.
Mr Trump has clamped down on Cuba since coming to power in 2017, tightening restrictions on USA travel and remittances to Cuba, and imposing sanctions on shipments of Venezuelan oil to the island.More news: Ubisoft Massive to Make Open-World, Story-Driven Star Wars Game
The terrorism designation carries a prohibition on US economic aid and a ban on USA arms exports, among other restrictions.
"The Trump administration has made every effort since the beginning to deny the Castro regime the resources it uses to oppress its people, and to counter its harmful interference in Venezuela and the rest of the American continent", he said. said in his statement.
Cubans see the blacklist as helping the US justify the long-standing embargo on the island and other economic sanctions that have crippled its economy.
In May 2020, the State Department added Cuba to a list of countries that do not cooperate with USA counter-terrorism programs.
"In fact, domestic terrorism in the United States poses a far greater threat to Americans than Cuba does".More news: Intel replaces its chief executive Bob Swan after 2 years
President-elect Joe Biden previously slammed Trump's policies on Cuba, saying he would "try to reverse the failed Trump policies that inflicted harm on Cubans and their families". Sudan was removed in 2020 as part of the Trump administration's peace agreements brokered in the Middle East.