The White House seems to have decided to announce news of Cuba’s removal from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List by way of leaks to major media sources around the country. NBC News is reporting this morning (April 9) that sources have been advised that President Barack Obama will announce that he is accepting the State Department recommendation (delivered yesterday) to remove the island nation from the list.
Last night (April 8) two administration officials told CNN that the State Department has recommended removing Cuba from the Terrorism List. If so the move paves the way for the White House to announce its intentions to de-list Cuba as early as today, one day before the start of the Summit of the Americas in Panama.
President Obama promised a review of Cuba’s place on the list during the historic December 17 announcement that the U.S. and Cuba would be reestablishing diplomatic relations after more than half a century of cold war. At the time the President promised to act quickly once he received the recommendation from the Department of State.
According to CNN, “The White House has made clear it wanted to make the announcement before Obama attends the Summit of the Americas later this week with Cuban leader Raul Castro, and ordered the State Department to speed up the process.
“Cuba’s place in the list has been a major stumbling block to efforts to restore ties between Washington and Havana, including the opening of embassies. Cuba has demanded it be dropped from the blacklist before relations are normalized.
“The move to de-list Cuba would also allow for the removal of certain financial and political sanctions against the island nation. In addition, the U.S. can drop its opposition to aid from the International Monetary Fund and other major financial institutions.
“Congress has 45 days from the announcement to vote to block the President’s action with a vote on a joint resolution disapproving the de-listing.”