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Cuba Document Archive | State Sponsors of Terrorism List

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Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State / public domain

Cuba: Implementing Rescission of State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation

By the Industry and Security Bureau (Federal Register, July 22, 2015)

This rule amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement the rescission of Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Specifically, this rule removes anti-terrorism (AT) license requirements from Cuba and eliminates references to Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but maintains preexisting license requirements for all items subject to the EAR unless authorized by a license exception. This rule also removes Cuba from Country Group E:1 (terrorist supporting countries). The Secretary of State rescinded the designation of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism on May 29, 2015.

Link to full text via the Federal Register

Background Briefing on the Report Required To Rescind Cuba's State Sponsor of Terrorism Status

(U.S. Department of State, April 14, 2015)

In a special briefing via teleconference, three unnamed senior administration officials gave background information about the White House’s decision to remove Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Although most economic sanctions against Cuba remain in place because of the broader economic embargo, Cuba's removal from the list is an important symbolic step to normalizing U.S.-Cuban relations.

Link to full text via the U.S. Department of State

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Proposed Rescission of Cuba’s Designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism

By the Office of the Press Secretary (White House, April 14, 2015)

In this statement, the White House announces that the President has submitted to Congress the required report and certifications to rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation. While President Obama acknowledges that Cuba and the United States continue to have great differences, these differences do not pertain to Cuba supporting terrorism. Cuba was first designated a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982.

Link to full text via the White House

Certification -- Report to Congress with Respect to the Proposed Rescission of Cuba's Designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism

By the Office of the Press Secretary (White House, April 14, 2015)

In this brief release, President Obama certified that Cuba had met all the criteria to be taken off the State Sponsor of Terrorism List, that is, the Government of Cuba hadn’t sponsored any terrorist activity within the past months and had assured that it would not do so in the future. The recision became effective on May 29, after Congress failed to act to block the recision in the intervening 45 days.

Link to full text via the White House

Cuba Sanctions Update: Removal of Cuba from Terrorism List Will Result in Modest Easing of Trade Sanctions

By Stephen F. Propst (Hogan Lovells, April 9, 2015)

As part of the shift in U.S. policy toward Cuba, President Obama instructed the Secretary of State to launch a review of Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism (SSOT). This paper summarizes the legal restrictions resulting from the SPOT designation, the process for lifting the designation, and the impact that removing the designation would have on trade with Cuba. Although the removal of Cuba from the SSOT list would be an important diplomatic step towards normalizing U.S. relations with Cuba, its immediate impact on economic activity between the United States and Cuba would be rather limited until further presidential and/or Congressional action is taken to fully lift the U.S. embargo of Cuba.

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Delisted in Havana: Taking Cuba Off the State Sponsors of Terrorism List

By William M. LeoGrande (Foreign Affairs, April 9, 2015)

In this opinion piece, LeoGrande outlines the political and historical forces behind Cuba’s inclusion and continuation in the state sponsors of terrorism list – from the Reagan years until today – while arguing that is no legitimate reason to continue including Cuba in this category.

Link to full text via Foreign Affairs

Country Reports on Terrorism 2014

(U.S. Department of State, 2014)

Cuba was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982. Though not within the timeframe covered by this report, on April 14, 2015, President Obama submitted to Congress the statutorily required report and certifications indicating the Administration’s intent to rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism 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. In recent years, Cuba has taken a number of steps to fully distance itself from international terrorism and has taken steps to strengthen its counterterrorism laws, including hosting negotiations between the FARC and the government of Colombia.

Link to full text via U.S. Department of State

Is Cuba’s Refusal to Turn Over Fugitives from U.S. Justice a Valid Basis for its Continued Designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism?

Remarks by Robert Muse (Center for International Policy conference “Taking Cuba off the Terrorist List: A Question of National Interest,” March 2013)

President Obama has failed to make significant reforms to Cuban foreign policy through Congress, and Muse urges the President to take charge and remove Cuba from the State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Muse believes that this action will improve relations with Cuba and the rest of the Latin American community.

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Report on the Conference to Call for Cuba’s Removal from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

By Wayne Smith, Peter Kornbluh, and Elizabeth Newhouse (Center for International Policy, January 2010)

This report outlines the findings of an international conference regarding the placement of Cuba on the State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Speakers outline the evidence used to maintain Cuba's status on the list, and the negative effects it has had on the relationship between the island nation and the United States. Many of the participants called for the removal of Cuba’s name from the list for diplomatic reasons.

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Congressional Research Service Report: Cuba and the State Sponsors of Terrorism List

By Mark P. Sullivan (Congressional Research Service, May 2005)

This documents outlines the arguments for and against Cuba remaining on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Proponents argue that there is clear evidence that Cuba has and continues to support terrorist insurgencies in Latin America and Africa. Opponents claim that the label is misleading and that it hinders a constructive relationship between Cuba and the United States.

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