The White House announced President Obama’s long rumored decision to remove Cuba from the State sponsors of terrorism list today.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest revealed that Obama had submitted to Congress a report detailing his intent to remove Cuba from the list. The State Department recently completed an assessment of the idea for the White House after Obama announced his intent to loosen restrictions on Cuba.
“[T]he Secretary of State concluded that Cuba met the conditions for rescinding its designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” Earnest said. “The Secretary of State therefore recommended that the President make and submit to Congress the statutorily-required report and certification.”
Obama’s decision has been expected for some time, specifically during his trip to Panama where he met with Cuban President Raul Castro. Earnest noted that although the United State would have “differences” with the Cuban government, it was proper to remove them from the state sponsors of terror list.
“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,” Earnest said. “More broadly, the United States will continue to support our interests and values through engagement with the Cuban government and people.”
Cuba was designated a state sponsor of terrorism in 1982 by President Reagan because of its support for revolutionary activity in Latin America.