White House officials hinted Tuesday that President Obama could recommend Cuba’s removal from a list of state sponsors of terror around the time of the Summit of the Americas later this week in Panama.
Deputy National Security adviser Benjamin Rhodes said the State Department’s review of Cuba’s place on that terror list is in “its final stages.” While he said the timing is in the hands of Secretary of State John Kerry, he would not rule out an Obama announcement during the two-day summit in Panama City.
Removing Cuba from the terror list would be one of the biggest developments since Dec. 17, when Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced they would seek to re-establish diplomatic relations after half a century of antagonism. But Rhodes cautioned that the actual opening of embassies in Havana and in Washington by both countries was still some time off.
“When you have two countries that haven’t spoken to each other like this over 50 years, you have lot off issues to work through,” Rhodes said in a call previewing Obama’s trip to Jamaica and then to the summit in Panama. Obama leaves for the Caribbean on Wednesday.
Among the issues that have slowed the diplomatic efforts have been Cuba’s presence on the terror list and U.S. demands that U.S. diplomats be able to interact with the Cuban people without limitations.
The normalization of relations with Cuba will be one of the centerpieces of the summit Friday and Saturday in Panama city. The U.S. has repeatedly objected to Cuba’s participation in the periodic assembly of leaders from the Americas. But the U.S. dropped its opposition this year.
Report by The Associated Press
Cuba is still one of 3 countries on U.S. terrorism list
The Summit of the Americas kicks off in Panama this week. For the first time, all 35 countries will be there as Cuba and the United States move to re-establish relations after over fifty years of hostility. Before that can happen Cuba needs to be removed from the U.S. list of State sponsors of terrorism. It is one of only three countries on that U.S. list, along with Iran and Syria.
CCTV America’s Nathan King filed this report from Washington, D.C.
Cuba is still one of 3 countries on U.S. terrorism listThe Summit of the Americas kicks off in Panama this week. For the first time, all 35 countries will be there as Cuba and the United States move to re-establish relations after over fifty years of hostility. Before that can happen Cuba needs to be removed from the U.S. list of State sponsors of terrorism. It is one of only three countries on that U.S. list, along with Iran and Syria. CCTV America's Nathan King filed this report from Washington, D.C.
- Since 1982 Cuba has been on a list of state sponsors of terrorism after the U.S. accused Cuba of harboring left wing and separatist groups from across the Spanish speaking world from the FARC in Columbia to ETA in Spain.
- The financial restrictions along with the U.S. trade embargo mean Cuba is essentially shut out of large parts of the US financial system- and unless the terror designation is lifted Cuban diplomats say they won’t be able to open U.S. bank accounts and fund embassies and consulates.
- After announcing the new U.S. policy in December the U.S. President launched a review of Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of Terror- that review is now nearly complete and the chief U.S. negotiator with Cuba says Havana may be off the list by the time the Summit of the Americas starts in Panama City or it may take a little more time
Joseph Humire on removing Cuba from the US terrorism sponsor list
To explore the implications of taking Cuba off the U.S. terrorism list, CCTV America interviewed Joseph Humire, the executive director at the Center for a Free Society.