The formal rescission of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism is yet another example of the Obama administration befriending enemies instead of reaffirming alliances, according to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
“As I’ve said before, relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom – and not one second sooner. Removing the regime from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terror is just the latest example of this administration focusing more on befriending our enemies than helping our allies, but fortunately it will have little practical effect,” Boehner said in a statement Friday.
Earlier Friday, the State Department announced the formal removal of Cuba from its list of terror sponsors, as part of the administrations’ process of normalizing relations with the island dictatorship.
“The rescission of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism reflects our assessment that Cuba meets the statutory criteria for rescission,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said in a statement. “While the United States has significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions, these fall outside the criteria relevant to the rescission of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation.”
Boehner argued the administration’s decision helps the Castro regime, giving it “a significant political win in return for nothing.”
“The communist dictatorship has offered no assurances it will address its long record of repression and human rights abuses at home. Nor has it offered any indication it will cease its support for violence throughout the region, including the brutal attacks on Cuban democracy protestors in Panama City during the Summit for the Americas earlier this year,” Boehner said.
He added that, given many of the sanctions on Cuba are set in law, the House will work to “ensure remain in place as we work to protect those fighting for freedom, and in many cases, simply their own survival.”