Obama Removes Cuba from the USA List of Countries that Sponsor Terrorism

HAVANA TIMES — President Barack Obama informed the US Congress on Tuesday his decision to remove Cuba from its list of countries sponsoring terrorism, reported dpa news.

The measure, which takes effect in 45 days under US law, was one of the most repeated demands by the Cuban government in the current negotiations to restore diplomatic ties.

“Today the president sent to Congress the [State Department] report required by law and the documents showing the intention of his administration to terminate the designation of Cuba as a country that sponsors terrorism,” said the White House press office in a statement.

The island was put on the “blacklist” in 1982 that includes Iran, Sudan and Syria, mainly on charges of supporting terrorist groups in other countries.

Documents sent to Congress show that “the government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism in the last six months,” and has assured that “it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future”, adds the statement .

The announcement comes just three days after Obama held a historic meeting with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro in the framework of the Summit of the Americas in Panama. It was the first meeting at this level between the two countries in more than 50 years.

The presence of Cuba on the US list of countries sponsoring terrorism was considered one of the main obstacles for both nations to restore diplomatic relations.

Although the government of Raul Castro recently stressed that it was not a “condition” to reopen embassies, it demanded once again during the weekend Summit in Panama that Washington remove the island from the list “which it never should have been on.”

The United States placed Cuba on its terrorism list during the administration of Republican Ronald Reagan, over allegations that the socialist island supported terrorist movements in other countries.

Cuba was criticized for its support in past decades of the Basque separatist organization ETA and the Colombian Marxist guerrillas of the FARC.

The latest reports from the State Department, however, also pointed out that Havana serves as a guarantor and host for the peace process between the Colombian government and the FARC.

Washington and Havana announced last December 17 an agreement to resume diplomatic relations broken off unilaterally by the US in 1961. The two countries are negotiating since late January the planned reopening of embassies.

The historic rapprochement between the old ideological enemies was celebrated as a milestone worldwide.


34 thoughts on “Obama Removes Cuba from the USA List of Countries that Sponsor Terrorism

  • Kennedy, where the hell have you been? I mean you’re getting more print than Moses and McDuff combined!!

  • LONG OVERDUE. CUBA”S NAME SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ON THAT LIST IN THE FIRST PLACE! WHO IS AMERICA TO CALL OTHER COUNTRIES TERRORISTS?

  • When are the Castro brothers going to die so some form of democracy can come to Cuba?

    I don’t think Cuba will ever be free until the Castro bloodline, including his daughter is not in any sort of power. It’s still one of the most repressed nations on earth, second only to North Korea.

  • The argument which Terry and others have made is that as soon as the US unilaterally lifts the embargo, the Cuban government will suddenly feel confident and happy to lift their oppression of the Cuban people. Human rights and free elections will suddenly be welcomed by the Castro regime. Clearly, that prediction is a delusion. The dictatorship will continue to behave as they always have, only now they will do it with coffers full of US dollars. Well done, Obama!

    The concession Obama has made won’t do much for US businesses hoping to make money in Cuba. They will open the cash flow for the Castro regime which controls all of the hotels & resorts, the car rentals & all imports & exports.

    So far, the changes Obama has made give US tourists a new place to visit & the Castro regime a lifeline. A few US businesses will make some money, but it’s no bonanza.

    Meanwhile, the Cuban people are getting screwed. Political repression has increased as dissidents are harassed and arrested in ever greater numbers. The Castro regime plans to rent out the cheap labour to serve the boon in US tourism, and maybe soon they can toil in Mariel sweatshops making cheap consumer products for US manufacturers.

    Is this what 56 years of revolution was for?

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