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After 33 years, Cuba Is Off the US List of Countries Sponsoring Terrorism

Plaza de la Revolución. Photo taken from Mark Scott Johnson licensed by CC BY 2.0

Plaza de la Revolución. Photo taken from Mark Scott Johnson licensed by CC by 2.0

The United States of America formally dropped Cuba from its state sponsors of terrorism list Friday, a designation reserved for nations that, according to the US government, repeatedly provide support for international acts of premeditated, politically motivated violence against non-combatants.

According to the US State Department:

In December 2014, the President instructed the Secretary of State to immediately launch a review of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, and provide a report to him within six months regarding Cuba’s support for international terrorism. On April 8, 2015, the Secretary of State completed that review and recommended to the President that Cuba no longer be designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.

Accordingly, on April 14, the President submitted to Congress the statutorily required report indicating the Administration’s intent to rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, including the certification that Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six-months; and that Cuba has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future. The 45-day Congressional pre-notification period has expired, and the Secretary of State has made the final decision to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, effective today, May 29, 2015.

The rescission of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism reflects our assessment that Cuba meets the statutory criteria for rescission. While the United States has significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions, these fall outside the criteria relevant to the rescission of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation.

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