The U.S. has taken Cuba off its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Secretary of State John Kerry has signed an order removing Cuba from the U.S. terrorism blacklist as part of the process of normalizing relations between the Cold War foes.
This leaves only three countries on the state-sponsored terrorism list:
- Syria – since 1979
- Iran – since 1984
- Sudan – since 1993
Cuba had been on the list since March 1, 1982, marking the fifth country to be removed. These are the other countries that have been on, and subsequently removed, from the list:
- Iraq (1979 – 1982; 1990 – 2004)
- South Yemen (1979 – 1990, when it joined with the Yemen Arab Republic to become Yemen)
- Libya (1979 – 2006)
- DPRK (1988 – 2008)
Kerry acted 45 days after the Obama administration informed Congress of its intent to do so. Lawmakers had that much time to weigh in and try to block the move, but did not.
The step comes as officials from the countries continue to hash out details of restoring full diplomatic relations, including opening embassies in Washington and Havana and returning ambassadors to the two countries. Friday’s removal of Cuba from the terrorism list had been a key Cuban demand.
Associated Press reporting contributed to this article.