Havana, Cuba (TFC) – The United States has officially stopped designating Cuba as a sponsor of terrorism. The removal of the island nation from the list shows exactly how pointless the designation is. Cuba didn’t change its stance on covert assistance to non-state militaries. It is simply now politically expedient for the US to reestablish ties.
President Obama is leaving the White House and is beginning the time honored tradition that all exiting Presidents observe. He is of attempting to craft his legacy. The simple act of reestablishing ties with a country that has been on the US hit list since the 1960s will cast President Obama as the peacemaker in future history books, even though the reasons for the punitive actions against Cuba died with the Soviet Union.
From the State Department:
In December 2014, the President instructed the Secretary of State to immediately launch a review of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, and provide a report to him within six months regarding Cuba’s support for international terrorism. On April 8, 2015, the Secretary of State completed that review and recommended to the President that Cuba no longer be designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.
Accordingly, on April 14, the President submitted to Congress the statutorily required report indicating the Administration’s intent to rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, including the certification that Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six-months; and that Cuba has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future. The 45-day Congressional pre-notification period has expired, and the Secretary of State has made the final decision to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, effective today, May 29, 2015.
The rescission of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism reflects our assessment that Cuba meets the statutory criteria for rescission. 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.