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Cuba has dedicated anti-terrorism legislation, which was adopted in 2001. The death penalty remains on the statute book for terrorist offences although capital punishment is not applied in practice. 

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Cuba adopted dedicated legislation against terrorism in 2001. It has a general definition of terrorism pertaining to the offences delineated in the international treaties on terrorism to which Cuba is a State Party.

The 2001 Terrorism Law thus stipulates that:

The purpose of this Law is to forestall and sanction acts described in its articles that due to the form of execution or means and methods used evidence the specific purpose of causing states of alarm, fear, or terror in the population, to put in imminent danger or affect the life or the physical or mental integrity of people, material goods of significant value or importance, international peace, or the security of the Cuban State.Art.1(1), 2001 Terrorism Law.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties

Cuba is a State Party to the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.

Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party

In adhering to the Nuclear Terrorism Convention, Cuba wished to "place on record" that

a United States naval base is located, against the will of the Cuban people and Government, in the province of Guantanamo, a portion of Cuban territory over which the Cuban State does not exercise its rightful jurisdiction because of the unlawful occupation of such portion of its territory by the United States of America. Consequently, the Government of Cuba assumes no responsibility for that portion of its territory for the purposes of the Treaty, since it does not know whether the United States of America has installed, possesses, maintains or intends to install nuclear material, including nuclear weapons, on that portion of unlawfully occupied Cuban territory.

Cuba is not a State Party to the main regional treaty on terrorism.

Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
2002 Inter-American Convention against Terrorism State not party

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

According to the 2001 Terrorism Law, 

Whoever manufactures, facilitates, sells, transports, remits, introduces into the country or has in its possession, in any form or place, weapons, ammunition or materials, substances or instruments that are flammable, asphyxiating, toxic, plastic explosives or of any other class or nature or chemical or biological agents, ... or any another similar substance or deadly explosive device, incurs a penalty of ten to thirty years of imprisonment, life imprisonment, or death.Art. 10, 2001 Terrorism Law.

The maximum penalty for terrorist offences is thus the death penalty in Cuba. 

Cyber terrorism is subject to a term of imprisonment of between five and twenty years.Art. 24, 2001 Terrorism Law.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

Law enforcement in Cuba is the responsibility of the National Revolutionary Police Force (Policía Nacional Revolucionaria, PNR), which is under the Ministry of the Interior.

In January 2001, Cuba was designated a State sponsor of terrorism by the United States. The designation was rescinded in 2015. In May 2022, however,  the Biden administration  again placed Cuba on a short list of countries the United States alleges are "not cooperating fully" in its fight against terrorism

In 2017, Cuba told the United Nations General Assembly that:

Forty-one years after the explosion in mid-flight off the coast of Barbados of a Cubana airline airplane, which killed 73 people, we Cubans see with indignation that justice has not yet been done to the victims of this horrendous crime. Its intellectual author, the self-confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, walks freely through the streets of Miami with the complicity of the United States Government. In a few days, on October 6, the Cuban people will remember with deep pain another anniversary of this abominable crime. 

Cuba signed the Code of Conduct towards Achieving a World Free of Terrorism on 28 September 2018 at United Nations Headquarters. 


Cuba 2001 Terrorism Law (original version)

Cuba 2001 Terrorism Law (English translation)