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.
“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.