U.S. Rescinds Designation of Cuba as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism”    

As anticipated, today, May 29, the U.S. officially rescinded its designation of Cuba as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism.”[1]

The official Department of State announcement noted that “on April 8, 2015, the Secretary of State completed the review of [that designation] and recommended [rescission] to the President” and that “on April 14, the President submitted to Congress the statutorily required report indicating the Administration’s intent to rescind . . . [the 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 announcement further stated that the “45-day Congressional pre-notification period has expired [today, May 29], 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.”

In conclusion, the announcement said, “The rescission . . . 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.”

This decision is an important step in President Obama’s effort to normalize relations between the two countries.


[1] This post is based on the following: Dep’t of State, Rescission of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (May 29, 2015); Davis, U.S. Removes Cuba from State-Sponsored Terrorism List, N.Y. Times (May 29, 2015); Tharoor, After 33 Years, the U.S. drops Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Here’s what it means, Wash. Post (May 29, 2015); Cuba removed from list of state sponsors of terrorism, Granma (May 29, 2015). Previous posts have examined legal and political issues relating to rescission, the president’s decision to rescind and congressional acceptance of rescission.







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As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

5 thoughts on “U.S. Rescinds Designation of Cuba as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism”    ”

  1. Comment: Responses to Rescission of Terrorism Designation

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, praised the move, saying it is a “critical step forward in creating new opportunities for American businesses and entrepreneurs, and in strengthening family ties.”

    Several Republicans criticized the rescission.

    Senator Marco Rubio (Rep., FL) stated, ““President Obama and his administration continue to give the Cuban regime concession after concession, in exchange for nothing that even remotely resembles progress towards freedom and democracy for the Cuban people, or assurances that the regime will discontinue working against America’s national security interests.”

    Former Governor Jeb Bush said in a statement, “Neither continued repression at home nor Cuba’s destabilizing activities abroad appear sufficient to stop President Obama from making further concessions to the Communist regime in Havana. Today’s news is further evidence that President Obama seems more interested in capitulating to our adversaries than in confronting them. Iran’s leaders are surely taking note.” The rescission “is a mistake. I call on Congress to keep pressure on Cuba and hold the Administration accountable.”

    John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, said the Obama administration had “handed the Castro regime a significant political win in return for nothing.
    The communist dictatorship has offered no assurances it will address its long record of repression and human rights at home.”

    Reuters states, “Removal from the list is more symbolic than of practical significance. It ends a prohibition on U.S. economic aid, a ban on U.S. arms exports, controls on “dual-use” items with military and civilian applications, and a requirement that the [U.S.] oppose loans to Cuba by international financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.” However, “those bans remain in place under other, overlapping U.S. sanctions.”
    Rubio, Rubio Comments on Obama Administration’s Latest Concession to Castro Regime (May 29, 2015), http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=8f02af74-a500-456e-9a47-cfcb99d0d70b; Governor Jeb Bush’s Statement on the Removal of Cuba from U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism List (May 29, 2015), https://righttorisepac.org/jeb-bushs-statement-removal-cuba-u-s-state-sponsors-terrorism-list/; Rodriguez & Lee, Washington removes Cuba from US list of state sponsors of terrorism in further reconciliation, StarTribune (May 30, 2015), http://www.startribune.com/cuba-removed-from-us-terror-list/305480231/; Reuters, U.S. Drops Cuba From List of State Sponsors of Terrorism, N.Y. Times (May 29, 2015), http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/05/29/world/americas/29reuters-cuba-usa.html; Yuhas, US formally drops Cuba from terrorism ‘blacklist,’ Guardian (May 29, 2015), http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/29/us-formally-drops-cuba-from-terror-black-list.

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