Cuba Meets US Congress Criteria for Exclusion From Terrorist List - DoS

© Flickr / CliffSenator John Kerry
Senator John Kerry - Sputnik International
John Kerry said in a statement that the State Department has recommended US President Barack Obama to remove Cuba from state sponsors of terrorism list, because Havana meets US Congress criteria for lifting sponsor of terrorism designation.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The State Department has recommended US President Barack Obama to remove Cuba from state sponsors of terrorism list, because Havana meets US Congress criteria for lifting sponsor of terrorism designation, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

“This recommendation reflects the [US State] Department’s assessment that Cuba meets the criteria established by Congress for rescission,” Kerry stated on Tuesday.

Kerry added that the Department submitted a final review, ordered by Obama in December 2014, to the White House last week. The report recommends rescinding Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuba's President Raul Castro as they hold a bilateral meeting during the Summit of the Americas in Panama City - Sputnik International
White House to Remove Cuba From State Sponsor of Terrorism List
The secretary explained that “circumstances have changed” since 1982, when Cuba was originally designated as a state sponsor of terrorism for its efforts “to promote armed revolution by forces in Latin America.”

“Our determination, pursuant to the facts, including corroborative assurances received from the Government of Cuba and the statutory standard, is that the time has come to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” Kerry added.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement on Tuesday that Obama sent the report to Congress informing of his intend to revoke Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Cuba and the United States are negotiating to improve their diplomatic ties, and revoking Cuba from sponsor of terrorism designation is one of the initial steps in the process along easing trade restrictions and potentially reopening the US embassy in Havana.

The United States imposed an embargo on Cuba in 1961 during the Cold War because of antagonism between Washington and the communist government in Havana.

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