Obama to Remove Cuba From Terrorism List

President notifies Congress he's making the move
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 14, 2015 2:15 PM CDT
President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shake hands during their meeting at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, Saturday, April 11, 2015.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – It's a major milestone in US foreign policy: President Obama is removing Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, reports AP. The move is a crucial step in Obama's bid to normalize relations between the two countries and follows a face-to-face meeting and handshake between Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro over the weekend. The president has submitted the necessary paperwork to notify Congress, and when the move is complete, only Iran, Syria, and Sudan will be on the list. Cuba has been on it for 30 years, a distinction that has long hampered its access to financial markets, notes the New York Times.

“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,” says White House spokesman Josh Earnest. Removal of the designation could pave the way for the two countries to reopen their respective embassies.

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