U.S. To Take Cuba Off Terrorism List

In the wake of the U.S. moving to normalize relations with Cuba, the US just may be considering taking another step to lighten sanctions against their neighbor in the Gulf of Mexico. According to sources from the White House, the U.S. State Department is considering removing Cuba from a list of nations and states considered to be sponsoring terrorism.

President Barack Obama, headlining efforts to lighten U.S./Cuba sanctions, has ordered the review of Cuba’s inclusion on the list. Obama will be leaving Wednesday for Jamaica and Panama, where he will be participating in the April 10-11 Summit of the Americas. There, he will be meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro.

Once Obama receives a State Department recommendation on whether or not to remove Cuba from the U.S. State Terrorism List. Once he receives this recommendation, Obama has vowed to act quickly. Sources at the White House remain unsure of what the recommendation will be. Cuba was added to the State Terrorism List in 1982, accused of aiding Marxist insurgencies. The move to take Cuba off the terrorism blacklist has been demanded by Havana, the country’s capital, for some time.

As of late, relations between Cuba and the U.S. have been steadily improving. Travel restrictions are being lifted to the island nation.

This move is expected to lighten relations between the two nations even more. However, despite not knowing what the State Department will recommend, sources indicate that there is a good chance that the State Department will recommend Cuba be removed from the State Terrorism List, according to a source connected with the State Department. No official announcements have been made at this time. Once a decision has been reached, Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to pass along the news to President Barack Obama, who will act quickly on the announcement.

Only three other countries are on the list along with Cuba: Iran, Sudan and Syria. Whether President Obama hopes to lift these other countries off of the State Terrorism List is unknown at this time.

Will you be planning your trip to Cuba? See here for North American travel inspiration: