The review of the US’s terror list has been completed, President Obama said today while in Jamaica. Cuba was examined under the “terror list”, a list of all the countries who pose a possible threat to the United States. The assessment was completed by the State Department.
“That review has been completed at the State Department. It is now forwarded to the White House. Our inter-agency team will go through the entire thing and then present it to me with a recommendation. That hasn’t happened yet,” said the President.
He also said that he would not make a formal announcement yet about what the recommendations are.
The review was ordered by President Obama after he announced a thawing of relations with Havana.
The addition of Cuba to the terror list was completed in 1982. The reason of addition was due to the country aiding Marxist insurgencies. The insurgencies were operating in Colombia for example.
Other countries that comprise the list include Libya, Iraq, South Yemen and Syria in 1979, Iran in 1984, North Korea in 1988 and Sudan in 1993.
The president recently visited Jamaica and will soon to visit Panama, for the Summit of the Americas.
“I never foresaw that immediately overnight everything would transform itself, that suddenly Cuba became a partner diplomatically with us the way Jamaica is, for example, we’re confident that this process of engagement will ultimately lead to not just improved relations between the United States and Cuba, but will also end up being beneficial for the Cuban people and give them the kinds of opportunities that they might not have in the past,” President Obama said.
If the State Department recommends removal, as expected, the President must send notice to Congress forty-five days before the change is scheduled. If Congress does not take action within that time period, the country can be removed.
President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro are expected to have a face-to-face meeting at the Summit of the Americas. This will be the first time Cuba is in attendance.