US President Intends to Drop Cuba From State Sponsors of Terrorism List
US President Barack Obama announced in Congress on Tuesday that he intends to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
This move will be an important step towards restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries, which have been characterised by hostility in the past five decades.
The US President justified his intention with the review of the State Department, which had established that Cuba has not provided support for international terrorism in the past six months.
Moreover, Cuba condemned all acts of terrorism and assured that it did not intend to support it in the future, the Voice of America reports.
This development comes several day after the historic meeting between Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.
This constituted the first face-to-face meeting between the presidents of the two countries in more than fifty years.
The placing of Cuba on the list of states sponsoring terrorism has been a serious barrier in restoring normality in the relations between the two countries.
The thaw in relations, which was announced by the two leaders in December 2014, has become increasingly visible lately.
First, Obama announced his willingness to remove Cuba from the list and since then the USA has stopped accusing Cuba of terrorism.
However the US President will not take the final decision before Cuba fulfills other conditions, such as lifting the restrictions on US diplomats in Havana.
Cuba has been placed on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1982 due to supporting leftist separatist movements such as FARC in Colombia and ETA in Spain.
US and Cuba are continuing their efforts on reopening embassies in the two countries, which have been officially closed for five decades.
The House of Representatives and the Senate have a 45-day review period to overrule the decision of Obama, which should come through a joint resolution.
The Cuban government welcomed the US move, calling it a “just decision” and said that the country should have never been placed on the list in the first place.
Cuba attended the Summit of the Americas, which took place in Panama City last week, for the first time since its constituent meeting in 1994.
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