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      According to U.S., Cuba Still ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism’

      If progress is made toward normalizing relations with Cuba in President Barack Obama’s second term, one starting point will be a fight to remove Cuba from the United States’ Neanderthal listing of Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism.” Cuba was first designated as such by the US on March 1, 1982. The State Department, which issues their listing annually, notes Cuba along with Iran, Sudan and Syria. Even North Korea was removed from the list in 2008.

      Obama could notify Congress 45 days in advance, and stipulate that Cuba is not a state supporting terrorism, then take executive action. Such a move would meet fierce resistance from many of the same House members doing everything possible to undermine Obama anyway – like Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chair of the committee with jurisdiction over Cuba policy. (One wonders how Ros-Lehtinen, who is Jewish-Cuban, would react to ending the terrorism designation if the Cubans, in an entirely separate action, released Alan Gross as a first step in measures leaking to normalization.)

      Expect a major push by progressives – as well as others in Central and Latin America – this year against the US policy.

      For more details, please see the State Department's explaination of state sponsors of terrorism.

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