The Cuban Crisis
Failure of American Foreign Policy
Law and the Quarantine of Cuba
The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited
Cuba, Castro and the United States
Cuba Revisited After Ten Years of Castro
The United States and Castro: Breaking the Deadlock
Cuba in the 1980s
Cuba's Cloudy Future
Secrets of Castro's Staying Power
Eyes on Cuba: U.S. Business and the Embargo
Cuba's Long Reform
The Crackdown in Cuba
Fidel's Final Victory
Cuba After Communism
The Economic Reforms That Are Transforming the Island
The Truth About Washington and Havana's New Detente
Easing the Embargo Will Open the Cuban Telecom Sector
Delisted in Havana
Taking Cuba Off the State Sponsors of Terrorism List
Nadir of the Americas
Havana and the Seventh Summit
A Cuban Conundrum
The Contradictions in Washington's Relations With Havana
Obama's Move on Cuba
What to Make of the Historic Trip
Business Unusual in Cuba
Letter from Havana
The U.S. State Department's recent recommendation that U.S. President Barack Obama take Cuba off the list of state sponsors of international terrorism removes a major roadblock to the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana. If Obama acts on the recommendation on the eve of the Seventh Summit of the Americas convening in Panama this Friday, he will significantly strengthen Washington's diplomatic position in Latin America and create a positive atmosphere for his interactions with the hemisphere's other heads of state—including Cuban leader Raúl Castro.
To be sure, a decision to remove Cuba from the terrorist list will not end the domestic debate about whether Cuba belongs on the list—or about Obama's broader opening to Cuba. Congress has 45 days to review a president's determination before it goes into effect, and the Obama's conservative critics on the Hill will no doubt try to block Cuba's removal. They are not likely to succeed, however, since they would have to muster veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress. But they will use the opportunity to redouble their criticism of Obama's Cuba policy in particular and his foreign policy in general.
Although the president's determination on Cuba seems straightforward—even obvious—the issues are complex. The law establishing the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, the Export Administration Act of 1979, at a minimum requires the president to certify that the country in question has not supported international terrorism in the past six months and has given assurances that it will not support it in the future. He would report that certification to Congress, and it would not become effective for 45 days, giving Congress an opportunity to try to overturn the finding. Meanwhile, the State Department will examine Cuba's recent behavior on the issues that were the basis for Cuba's inclusion on the list.
Cuba's original designation in 1982 was a
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