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US Might Take Cuba Off Terror Sponsor List

  • Reuters

FILE - A man walks in front of the headquarters of Cuba's state-run telecommunications provider ETECSA in Havana.

FILE - A man walks in front of the headquarters of Cuba's state-run telecommunications provider ETECSA in Havana.

The U.S. State Department is expected to recommend within a day or two that Cuba be removed from its list of countries accused of sponsoring terrorism, CNN reported on Tuesday.

President Barack Obama ordered the review of Cuba's inclusion on the list after announcing a diplomatic breakthrough with Havana on Dec. 17.

Obama leaves on Wednesday for a trip to Jamaica and Panama, where he will participate in a summit of the Americas and come face-to-face with Cuban President Raul Castro.

Ben Rhodes, White House deputy national security adviser, said earlier the State Department's review was nearing its conclusion but he could not predict the timing. Cuba's continued presence on the U.S. blacklist is a major sticking point in the country's efforts to restore relations and re-open embassies.

“We expect that it's likely in the final stages. But we don't control the timing. The State Department does,” he told reporters in a conference call Tuesday morning.

Obama has vowed to act quickly once he receives a State Department recommendation on whether to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of terrorism-sponsoring countries.

Asked about the CNN report, which cited an unidentified State Department official, an administration source told Reuters: “We haven't received a recommendation from the State Department. The review is ongoing there. We can't speak to what their recommendation might be.”

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