Wednesday, September 30, 2020

President Obama Removes Cuba From Terror List

Obama Americas Summit

President Barack Obama has signaled his administration’s intent to remove Cuba from the State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism in a letter to Congress, taking another step towards normalizing relations with the island nation only 90 miles south of the United States.

Speaking at a press conference regarding his face to face discussion with Cuban President Raul Castro, Mr. Obama stated that “… we agreed that we can continue to take steps forward that advance our mutual interests. We’ll continue to work toward reestablishing diplomatic relations, reopening embassies in Havana and Washington, and encouraging greater contacts and commerce and exchanges between our citizens.”

While announcing the latest step towards diplomatic normalization, President Obama also noted that the two nations would continue to have disagreements over issues such as human rights. In a statement regarding the policy move, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that Secretary of State John Kerry and the United States intelligence community had determined that Cuba no longer met the legal guidelines requisite for designation of a state sponsors of terrorism, and recommended to the president that he take the necessary steps to remove Cuba from the list. Automatic sanctions based on that designation will also be lifted against Cuba.

“We’ll continue to work toward reestablishing diplomatic relations, reopening embassies in Havana and Washington, and encouraging greater contacts and commerce and exchanges between our citizens,” added President Obama.

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