President of the United States of America Barack Obama has made the decision to remove Cuba from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism. While Obama can only recommend that the government remove Cuba from the list, the White House has issued a public statement announcing the intentions of the Obama administration to stop declaring Cuba as a nation that supports terrorism.
According to ABC News, Obama’s decision to remove Cuba from the list came after the president returned from the Summit of the Americas in Panama. Barack Obama spoke with Cuban leaders, including the president of the country Raul Castro, which was Obama’s first time meeting him.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest spoke on behalf of the president and his recommendation to remove Cuba as a terrorism sponsor.
“As the president has said, we will continue to have differences with the Cuban government, but our concerns over a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions fall outside the criteria that is relevant to whether to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. That determination is based on the statutory standard – and the facts – and those facts have led the President to declare his intention to rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation.”
According to CBS News, Obama submitted an official statement to the members of Congress explaining why he believes the government should remove Cuba from the list, claiming that the country has not shown any support of terrorism for half a year.
“I hereby certify, with respect to the rescission of the determination of March 1, 1982, regarding Cuba that: (i) the Government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding 6-month period; and (ii) the Government of Cuba has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future,” Obama wrote.
The Obama administration’s move to re-classify Cuba as a country that doesn’t support terrorism is likely a new attempt to make peace with the Communist nation and develop a friendly dialogue with its leaders. Communication between the United States and Cuba has been tense, to say the least, for the past few decades.
“Circumstances have changed since 1982, when Cuba was originally designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism because of its efforts to promote armed revolution by forces in Latin America,” Secretary Kerry said in a statement following Obama’s decision. “Our Hemisphere, and the world, look very different today than they did 33 years ago.”
Declaring that Cuba does not sponsor terrorism could be perceived as an olive branch from Barack Obama to Raul Castro. While many United States citizens and leaders are weary of the Communist state in Cuba, some members of Congress have voiced their support of President Obama for deciding to remove Cuba from the list, including Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.
“The removal of Cuba from the … list is a welcome move,” Durbin said. “While no fan of the Castro regime, I continue to believe that opening up the island to American ideas, vibrancy, and trade is the most effective way to see a more open and tolerant Cuba.”
Do you think Obama was wise to remove Cuba from the list of terrorist sponsors?
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