Tags: Castro-Cuba | Cuba | terror list | Obama | Castro | Joanne Chesimard

Critics: Removing Cuba from Terror List a 'Miscarriage of Justice'

Critics: Removing Cuba from Terror List a 'Miscarriage of Justice'
(Enrique de la Osa/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 09 April 2015 12:23 PM

As President Barack Obama prepares to meet Cuban President Raul Castro at a summit in Panama on Friday, he is considering whether to remove the communist regime in Havana from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Reports this week indicate that the administration has decided to do so, a move labeled a "miscarriage of justice" by critics like Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who say the Castro government remains heavily involved in supporting terrorism.

But CNN reported Wednesday that the State Department has recommended taking Cuba off the terrorism list, and the decision could be made official as early as Thursday afternoon.

To get Cuba off of the list, U.S. officials have to find that it has not engaged in acts of terror in the past six months and has promised not to do so in the future. Should Obama decide to remove Cuba, he is required to submit a report to Congress explaining his position.

After that, lawmakers will have 45 days to block the move or permit it to happen.

State Department officials claim that the regime's days as a promoter of terrorism are over. Earlier this year, the department said there was "no indication" that Havana had provided paramilitary training or weapons to terrorist groups in the past year.

The "most difficult obstacle" for the administration to overcome in this regard is the fact that Havana continues to provide sanctuary for scores of groups regarded as terrorists by Washington, USA Today reported Thursday.

They include members of the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), a Spanish separatist movement. The State Department estimates that ETA has killed more than 800 people since the 1960s. The State Department says Havana's ties to the terror group "have become more distant" and that it recently moved a third of the 24 ETA members out of Cuba.

Cuba has also provided safe haven to members of the Marxist-Leninist Colombian guerrilla army known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which has been waging a bloody civil war against the Colombian government since the 1960s.

In addition, Cuba is providing refuge for scores of U.S. fugitives, including one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists — Joanne Chesimard, a member of the Black Liberation Army.

Chesimard murdered a New Jersey State Police trooper in an execution-style shooting in 1973. She received a life sentence but escaped from prison and made her way to Cuba, where she remains to this day.

"It is essential to recognize that the Castro regime has a long track record of providing sanctuary to terrorists and harboring U.S. fugitives who have murdered American citizens, while undermining national security," Sen. Robert Menendez wrote in a Feb. 26 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry.

Before Cuba is removed from the terror list, "the Castro regime must be held to account for these acts and American fugitives must be brought back to face justice in the U.S.," the New Jersey Democrat added.

New York magazine reported that as many as 70 U.S. fugitives are being harbored in Cuba by the Castro regime.

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Newsfront
As President Barack Obama prepares to meet Cuban President Raul Castro at a summit in Panama on Friday, he is considering whether to remove the communist regime in Havana from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Cuba, terror list, Obama, Castro, Joanne Chesimard
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2015-23-09
Thursday, 09 April 2015 12:23 PM
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