Obama pushes to get Cuba off terrorist list

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama vowed on Tuesday to act quickly once he receives a State Department recommendation on whether to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of terrorism-sponsoring countries, a remaining obstacle to the restoration of relations between Washington and Havana.

With just days to go before a hemispheric summit in Panama where Obama will come face-to-face with Cuban President Raul Castro, he offered no clear sign of how he was leaning or the timeframe for his decision. He ordered the review immediately after announcing a diplomatic breakthrough with Havana on Dec. 17.

Obama, in a Reuters interview in early March, said he hoped the United States would be able to open an embassy in Cuba by the time of the April 10-11 Summit of the Americas, and U.S. officials have since said the review was being expedited.

But the lack of a decision so far on taking Cuba off the terrorism blacklist – something Havana has steadfastly demanded – has raised strong doubts about whether the review will be finished in time to make further strides toward normalization before the summit.

“As soon as I get a recommendation, I'll be in a position to act on it,” Obama said in an interview with National Public Radio.

Obama gave no sense of where the administration is heading on the issue but made clear that his decision would be based not on “whether they engage in repressive or authoritarian activities in their own country” but on the “current activities of the Cuban government” with regard to terrorism.

Cuba was added to the list of terrorism sponsors in 1982, when it was aiding Marxist insurgencies. But it is currently aiding a peace process with Colombia's left-wing FARC guerrillas.

“I think there's a real opportunity here, and we are going to continue to make - move forward on it,” Obama said. “Our hope is to be in a position where we can open an embassy there, that we can start having more regular contacts and consultations around a whole host of issues, some of which we have interests in common.”

He added: "What I'm saying is, I'm going to be taking a very close look at what the State Department recommends."

(Reporting by Eric Walsh and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Ken Wills)
 
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I think it would be good if Cuba is viewed clean and also, it will get rid of the misunderstandings that have occured and also could be viewed as a ally and not a enemy anymore. I wander what the findings are found about and also, it is going to be interesting to see what happens and also hope it is going to be good result as well. Cuba could be a trusted, place and also it could increase the economy and trade also between the countries too.
 
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Seeing as relations between the US and Cuba have certainly got a lot better recently, I do think Cuba being taken off that list is the right thing to do for everybody.

Having said that, what does being on the list entail? What type of sanctions (if any) does a country incur by being on there?
 
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So after years of being upset that they couldn't take over Cuba like they did the other countries in central America and the Caribbean, it is good to see a US president with the decency to accept the fact that Cuba will not be bullied. Cuba did nothing wrong except fighting for its total independence and that is why America was so mad.
 
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If the embargo is lifted only good things can come of it. Namely, Cuban cigars. It makes me wonder what it's going to mean for the people coming over here for Asylum.
 
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It is around 70+ years too late. While USA had an embargo on Cuba all of the European countries, mainly Switzerland has been snapping up Cuban investments at bargain basement prices. I guess you could argue it is better late then never. Also USA by having the embargo indirectly helped Castro. Every problem Castro had he could blame on the evil Americans. The average Cuban had no way of finding out the truth, so he had no choice besides believing Castro.

America needs to rethink its foreign policy.
 
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It is around 70+ years too late. While USA had an embargo on Cuba all of the European countries, mainly Switzerland has been snapping up Cuban investments at bargain basement prices. I guess you could argue it is better late then never. Also USA by having the embargo indirectly helped Castro. Every problem Castro had he could blame on the evil Americans. The average Cuban had no way of finding out the truth, so he had no choice besides believing Castro.

America needs to rethink its foreign policy.
Do we actually have foreign policies? It is starting to look like we're just winging it. I have been an Obama fan from the start. But this mess that's going on right now, the total "cluster frick" we have going on is making my head spin. I don't know who is friendly, who we hate, or anything else. Policy implies there are some set rules, or even just guidelines, that we at least PRETEND we are going to follow. There's nothing like that here
 
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Do we actually have foreign policies? It is starting to look like we're just winging it.
I seriously do not know. Pretty much every terrorist/insurgent group since WW2 was indirectly/unintentionally started by USA. Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam used to be a good US ally, during WW2 the US was actually giving the guy arms to fight the Japanese. Then after WW2 they turn on him. The Taliban is a similar story, they evolved from an insurgent group the Americans where using to fight the Soviet Union. ISIS was started to try and get rid of the PLO.

Every insurgent group the US supports seems to get nastier and nastier. ISIS is indirectly getting arms from USA's "good" Iraqi allies, how else can they have all this American equipment.

Americans seem to like to give weapons to really nasty individuals
 
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I seriously do not know. Pretty much every terrorist/insurgent group since WW2 was indirectly/unintentionally started by USA. Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam used to be a good US ally, during WW2 the US was actually giving the guy arms to fight the Japanese. Then after WW2 they turn on him. The Taliban is a similar story, they evolved from an insurgent group the Americans where using to fight the Soviet Union. ISIS was started to try and get rid of the PLO.

Every insurgent group the US supports seems to get nastier and nastier. ISIS is indirectly getting arms from USA's "good" Iraqi allies, how else can they have all this American equipment.

Americans seem to like to give weapons to really nasty individuals
That could give someone the idea that we are a bunch of trouble starters :p. i can't even imagine how different the world would be if we knew how to mind our own business. Just on this forum you can see how badly Americans AREN'T wanted around. Honestly, I don't know if I'm gonna vote if a candidate doesn't have a decent, revamped foreign policy.
 

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