On Cuba's Removal From the State-Sponsors of Terrorism List

Friday, May 29, 2015
During a recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, Roberta Jacobson, acknowledged that Cuba's claim it has "never" supported terrorism was untrue.

Yet, in its "Rescission Memo to Congress" on Cuba's removal from the state-sponsors of terrorism list, the Obama Administration accepted the Castro regime's "assurances" that it will not support terrorism in the future -- a legal requirement for de-listing -- in the same breath as it's claim that it has "never" supported terrorism.

As such, the Obama Administration has accepted a lie, in order to further another lie.

The Obama Administration also certified that Cuba has not supported terrorism "in the last six months" -- the other legal requirement for de-listing.  Meanwhile, a scandal is brewing in Colombia over a ship that was intercepted on February 28, 2015 -- just three months ago -- with over 100 tons of heavy weapons being smuggled by a shadow company of the Cuban military ("Tecnoimport"), seemingly for FARC terrorists.

Cuba's removal from the terrorism list, while questions linger about this illegal weapons shipment is highly irresponsible.

It is evidently clear that the Obama Administration's removal from the terrorism list has little do with the facts, but was instead compelled to meet a key demand of the Castro regime for the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The hasty removal of Libya (2006) and North Korea (2008) from the terrorism list has proven -- time and again -- that such concessions do not dissuade rogue regimes to change their behavior. To the contrary.

Thus, Congress must keep the important U.S. leverage the Obama Administration seeks to give-away without merit. It must maintain -- and strengthen -- the underlying sanctions associated with the terrorism legislation, which remain codified in law.