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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

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

Today, the President submitted to Congress the statutorily required report and certifications indicating the Administration’s intent to rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation.

Cuba was designated a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982 due to its efforts to promote armed revolution by organizations that used terrorism.  Once designated, a country remains a State Sponsor of Terrorism until its designation is rescinded in accordance with statutory criteria.  In Cuba’s case, the applicable criteria require the President to submit a report to the Congress at least 45 days before the proposed rescission would take effect, justifying the rescission and certifying that (1) the Government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding 6-month period; and (2) the Government of Cuba has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.A

s part of his December 17, 2014, announcement of policy changes related to Cuba, President Obama instructed the Department of State to undertake a review of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism based on an assessment of the available facts.  After a careful review of Cuba’s record, which was informed by the Intelligence Community, as well as assurances provided by the Cuban government, the Secretary of State concluded that Cuba met the conditions for rescinding its designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.  The Secretary of State therefore recommended that the President make and submit to Congress the statutorily-required report and certification.  

As the President has said, we will continue to have differences with the Cuban government, but our concerns over a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions fall outside the criteria that is relevant to whether to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.  That determination is based on the statutory standard – and the facts – and those facts have led the President to declare his intention to rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation.  More broadly, the United States will continue to support our interests and values through engagement with the Cuban government and people.