US drops Cuba from terrorism list

The US government on May 29 formally removed Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism as a positive step toward restoring Cuba-US diplomatic relations. US President Barack Obama said in April that he would drop Cuba from the list. In December Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro stated they would take steps to restore diplomatic relations that were severed in 1961 by the US. Removal from this list ends a variety of sanctions from the US including opposing financial backing of the World Bank and International Monetary fund, US economic aid bans, and bans on US arms exports. Although not all sanctions have been removed from Cuba, the removal from the list may make private US companies and banks more likely to do business with Cuba. The two sides have held several rounds of negotiations since December and have stated they are close to a deal with to reopen US embassies. As of now, the only countries left on the list are Iran, Syria and Sudan.

From Jurist, May 30. Used with permission.

Note: The list is made unilaterally by Washington, and Cuba had been included on it since 1982, largely in response to Havana's support for the FMLN guerillas in El Salvador. The move to de-list Cuba was protested by politicians including presidential hopeful Jeb Bush and Sen. Robert Menendez, (D-NJ). (ACN, LAT)