US Takes Cuba Off Terrorism List
by VOA News May 29, 2015
The United States on Friday dropped Cuba from a blacklist designating the communist country as a state sponsor of terrorism in another step toward the resumption of diplomatic links between the two nations after a five-decade standoff.
Shortly after meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro in April, U.S. President Barack Obama announced his intention to remove Cuba from the list as the two countries head toward opening diplomatic missions in Washington and Havana.
The U.S. Congress had a 45-day window to object, but did not.
With that review period ending Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry formally removed Cuba from the list.
The U.S. said it still has 'significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba's policies and actions.'
The State Department, however, said the U.S. island neighbor had not supported international terrorism in the last six months and given the U.S. assurances that it will not in the future, the criteria for removing Cuba from the list.
Cuba's removal from the list could give it more access to global financial markets and loans from organizations such as the World Bank.
U.S. and Cuban diplomats have been holding discussions about improving trade, educational and travel ties between the two countries.
The U.S. broke off diplomatic relations after Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro took control of Cuba in 1959 at the height of the Cold War, but late last year, the two countries announced a thaw in their icy relations.
Three countries remain on the State Department list as state sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Sudan and Syria.
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