Washington, May 29 – The U.S. Congress has until today to decide on Cuba’s exclusion from the State Department’s list of alleged countries sponsoring international terrorism.
The 45-day term will expire today. It was stipulated so the legislators -particularly those reluctant to the approach started in December 2014 between Washington and Havana- speak in favor of the decision notified on April 14 by President Barack Obama.
The fact is that an initiative with last-minute bicameral support seems unlikely because the congress people are this week on vacations and would have to move before midnight.
But in late April, the anti-Cuban right-wing congress people had agreed that there was no reasonable maneuver margin to oppose to this step by the Executive, which has been made progresses towards the restoration of diplomatic ties with the island and the reopening of embassies in both capitals.
Cuban authorities have stated -in three rounds of official talks and other contacts- the importance of their country’s removal from that list of nations that allegedly sponsoring terrorism, although they did not established this as a prerequisite for the progress in bilateral talks.
Few days after Obama informed of Cuba’s exclusion from that “blacklist” -in which it stood since 1962- congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a fervent supporter of Washington’s anti-Cuba policy, said in an interview with Foreign Policy: “We could not undo it.”
Her frustration, for lacking political capital in the Capitol corridor, agreed a 59 percent of citizens’ support to the Executive’s decision, according to a survey published by CNN/ORC.
The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs considered just the U.S. government’s decision to eliminate the island from a list in which it ensured it should never be included.
It also recalled that Caribbean nation was victim of hundreds of terrorist actions that killed 3,478 people and injured 2,099.
Havana also reaffirmed that it rejects and condemns those terrorism actions in all its forms and expressions, as well as any action that is intended to instigate, support, finance or cover such activities.
Few days before Obama’s notification to the Congress, the head of the White House and Cuban President Raul Castro had held a historic -unprecedented- meeting in the context of the Seventh Summit of the Americas, in Panama.
Source: Prensa Latina