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U.S. takes Cuba off terrorism list

It is another step in normalization of relations between the two countries.

By Ed Adamczyk
President Barack Obama (r) greets Cuban President Raul Castro Saturday, April 11, 2015, at the 7th Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama. Photo courtesy: The White House/Twitter
President Barack Obama (r) greets Cuban President Raul Castro Saturday, April 11, 2015, at the 7th Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama. Photo courtesy: The White House/Twitter

WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department Friday removed Cuba from its state-sponsored terrorism list.

A report to Congress by President Barack Obama in April indicated Cuba had not provided support for international terrorism within the past six months and had offered assurances it would not. With no indications from Congress it would override Obama's recommendation to remove Cuba from the list, the action will become effective when it is published in the Federal Register. Thus will end Cuba's 33-year inclusion on a list which currently includes Syria, Iran and Sudan.

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It is another step in the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States, which begun December 2014 and removes a major obstacle in restoration of diplomatic ties.

The move allows Cuba to conduct banking activities in the United States, but does nothing to change the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, begun in 1960.

"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," the State Department said Friday in a statement.

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