Huge News: U.S. Removes Cuba From State-Sponsored Terrorism List

Lead Photo: Photo By: Elena Scotti/The Daily Beast
Photo By: Elena Scotti/The Daily Beast
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The U.S. has taken a huge step toward fully normalizing ties with its island neighbor, Cuba. Since Presidents Obama and Raúl Castro of Cuba first announced an unprecedented diplomatic thaw back in mid-December, Cuba’s continued appearance on the U.S.’ State Sponsors of Terrorism list has been a primary point of contention that gummed up the process over the ensuing months. As of today, the State Department has officially removed Cuba from the list following a four-month interagency review.

The island nation was originally designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism by President Reagan back in 1982, joining a handful of pariah nations that now includes only Iran, Syria, and Sudan. It’s inclusion on the list was attributed primarily to the Communist Party’s support of Colombia’s FARC and the paramilitary Basque separatist organization, ETA.

While this is undoubtedly an immensely important gesture on the part of the U.S. government, there are still many significant points of difference to be hammered out between the two perennial adversaries after nearly six decades of mutual mistrust. Currently the U.S. Congress has the sole power to remove the country’s long-standing economic embargo against Cuba, but the Obama administration’s immediate goal is to reopen a U.S. embassy in Havana — a process that many still expect to be complicated by Republican pushback. But, ABC News is reporting two unnamed sources have confirmed that an announcement on the embassy will come as early as next week.

While we should all be collectively giving it up to Obama for making the tough decisions, sounds like Boehner and Co. could use a strong palo ‘e ron and una noche de rumba to get themselves in line and stop stemming the tide of history.

Photo By: Elena Scotti/The Daily Beast