Obama Says Would Move Fast to Take Cuba Off Terrorism Sponsor List 5

Obama(Reuters) – President Barack Obama vowed on Tuesday to act quickly once he receives a State Department recommendation on whether to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of terrorism-sponsoring countries, a remaining obstacle to the restoration of relations between Washington and Havana.

With just days to go before a hemispheric summit in Panama where Obama will come face-to-face with Cuban President Raul Castro, he offered no clear sign of how he was leaning or the timeframe for his decision. He ordered the review immediately after announcing a diplomatic breakthrough with Havana on Dec. 17.

Obama, in a Reuters interview in early March, said he hoped the United States would be able to open an embassy in Cuba by the time of the April 10-11 Summit of the Americas, and U.S. officials have since said the review was being expedited.

But the lack of a decision so far on taking Cuba off the terrorism blacklist – something Havana has steadfastly demanded – has raised strong doubts about whether the review will be finished in time to make further strides toward normalization before the summit.

“As soon as I get a recommendation, I’ll be in a position to act on it,” Obama said in an interview with National Public Radio.

Obama gave no sense of where the administration is heading on the issue but made clear that his decision would be based not on “whether they engage in repressive or authoritarian activities in their own country” but on the “current activities of the Cuban government” with regard to terrorism.

Cuba was added to the list of terrorism sponsors in 1982, when it was aiding Marxist insurgencies. But it is currently aiding a peace process with Colombia’s left-wing FARC guerrillas.

“I think there’s a real opportunity here, and we are going to continue to make – move forward on it,” Obama said. “Our hope is to be in a position where we can open an embassy there, that we can start having more regular contacts and consultations around a whole host of issues, some of which we have interests in common.”

He added: “What I’m saying is, I’m going to be taking a very close look at what the State Department recommends.”

(Reporting by Eric Walsh and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Ken Wills)

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5 comments

  1. It is not very wise to remove Cuba from the list of terrorist countries when they are still illegally trafficking arms with China and North Korea. The alcoholic dictator Raul Castro continue his demanding without providing absolutely nothing in Return. All the concessions have been on the part of the Obama administration.The three remaining spies were released,one of them with a Murder sentence. Raul (VODKA) Castro wants the Gitmo naval base to be returned to him,what is going to be next? Is our government going to also return Gitmo to Castro?Castro keeps demanding without offering anything in return.
    Since Raul (VODKA) Castro is demanding so much,why don’t we ask him to promote free elections and to free the rest of the political prisoners? Our government have the right to get something n return,don’t we think is reasonable? Our demands should be logical demands and should be straight forward to confront a dictator that should have been deposed decades ago and due to our weak policies of appeasement of the past and present he is still in power.This guy should not be demanding anything and just be happy that he is still in power. Cuba and his ruling dictator should be kept in the list of terrorist countries until the island get rid of the PEST named Raul (VODKA) Castro and his brother Fidel the (MUMMY ) Castro. I’m sorry if I bring humor to the posting here…..

  2. The majority of Americans citizens want to see U.S./ Cuba diplomatic relations restored, in the same way the United States–as a matter of fact–restored diplomatic relations with China, Viet Nam, Japan, all which are countries that “once upon a time” the United States as a nation waged war against and battled, yet, which also are all nations that now work together with the U.S. in commerce and many other areas of mutual cooperation and mutual interest.

    The interests of the United States foreign policy in general as well as the specific U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba are not formulated in Miami, Florida. Although, they do affect the political positions and the historical sentiments embedded by the loss of life, home, and country for many–although not all–of those South Floridians who are demographically defined as Cuban Americans and who have an ax to grind with the Cuban regime because of; 1.) How it came to control power of government, 2.) How such regime has stayed in power of government in disregard of basic civil rights and the lack of economic welfare and prosperity and 3.) How all the elements of the behind the scenes façade of a once very prosperous nation–which many continue to claim inside and out of Cuba–was hijacked, precisely, by the United States when this nation betrayed it´s pact with its own and self-sponsored Brigade 2506 that fought in Cuba in 1961. Should the United States have backed Brigade 2506 as it induced it and promised it to do so, the foreign policy between the United States and Cuba would be very different today in 2015. These are all matter of facts, yet, they need to be correlated with the present state of mind of the Cuban population, inside Cuba, regarding how that most important sector of the civil society in the Cuban nation, as represented by its population in the island, would like to see the nation evolve politically, economically and socio-culturally.

    I learned in this great nation to precepts: “If you can´t beat the system join it and change from within”. The other is: “Keep your friends close and your enemies (meaning adversary, contrarian etc.) closer”.

    Perhaps the much deserved freedoms cherished by all Cubans living in the country of Cuba is now a step much, more, closer than ever before, because its obvious Miami is a permanent and silent-like “mirror of contrast”, which was ironically forged through the hard work of Cuban Americans who once sought FREEDOM in the United States, to a better way of life at only a short 90 miles away from Habana, a city where the United States will soon have an Embassy again. This is a very potent political cocktail now in the making. The straight of waters between Habana and Cayo Hueso (Key West´s real name) is not separated by a wall as once in Berlin, but it isn´t the ocean either what will bring the Tzunami of freedom about to be experienced by the will to be free of the people of Cuba, while the top brass in Cuba prepares–surreptitiously–to blend itself into an international legality, that is the only legal factor once keeping away the legal permanency of ill fortunes made and well hidden abroad and the once looming shadow of criminal indictments of “lesa humanidad” (crimes against humanity).

    Barack Obama weakened to a midget-level Putin, who thinks of himself as a “Rambo-like giant”. The President did not do it with vile and empty threats and humor like mockery as some here are mocking the President of the country they sworn allegiance to as “Americans” and by stupid, child-like nonsensical commentary, but–instead–by astute diplomatic action as the President undertook against Russia in unison with his lobbying of other countries who joined the U.S. in the President´s leadership. The Russian economy is now about to implode. The U.S. President knows what is going on inside Cuba, a country with a major portion of its population that is presently of the black racial demography, yet, where blacks are not widely seen in positions of government. Cuba has complex issues both of political context and social contexts to deal with and they will unfold sooner than expected.

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