The White House said on Twitter that President Barack Obama has submitted to Congress required reports and certifications indicating his intent to take Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terrorism, a key step in the president’s bid to normalize relations between the two countries. Cuba’s removal from the list will lift certain economic sanctions on the island, but the broader U.S. embargo on Cuba will remain in place because only Congress can end it.
We will continue to have differences with the Cuban government, but our concerns over a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions fall outside the criteria that are relevant to whether to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.
The White House
Obama’s decision follows a hemispheric summit in Panama where he and Cuban President Fidel Castro sat down on Saturday for the first meeting of its kind between U.S. and Cuban leaders in nearly 60 years. Cuba was one of four countries on the U.S. list of nations accused of repeatedly supporting global terrorism. The countries still on the list are Iran, Syria and Sudan.