U.S. to Remove Cuba from the List of Terrorism Sponsors

According to a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee source, the State Department has proposed to President Barack Obama that he removes Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Obama said during a short stay in Jamaica that he was waiting for his advisors to step forward with their recommendations, adding that he would announce the decision soon.

"That review has been completed at the State Department. It is now forwarded to the White House. Our inter-agency team will go through the entire thing and then present it to me with a recommendation. That hasn't happened yet," Obama said. He did not reveal which decision he is leaning towards, though. However, his previous statements signaled that he was in favor of removing Cuba off the list.

If the United States decide to remove Cuba, they would also be removing a big obstacle on the path towards Havana-Washington diplomatic relations. This would, among other improvements, also mean the re-opening of embassies that have been closed for 54 years.

Cuba has been on the terrorism sponsors' list since 1982, while it was helping Marxist unrests in Colombia and other countries like Syria, Iran and Sudan.

Obama is to travel to Panama soon to participate in a summit with Latin American leaders, where he is also scheduled to meet with the President of Cuba, Raul Castro. "We’re confident that this process of engagement will ultimately lead to not just improved relations between the United States and Cuba, but will also end up being beneficial for the Cuban people and give them the kinds of opportunities that they might not have in the past," said Obama.
 

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