US removed Cuba from terror blacklist to strengthen ties with Cuba

Jun 1, 2015 14:10 IST

The US on 29 May 2015 removed Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, signed an order removing Cuba from the terrorism blacklist as part of the process of strengthening ties between the former Cold War foes.

The removal of Cuba from the terror list would also help in the process of lifting economic sanctions. It had been a key Cuban demand as the countries move towards normalising relations.

However, a tight economic embargo slapped on the communist-run Caribbean island in 1962 remains in place, meaning there may be little immediate effect of the latest decision.

US had included Cuba in terror blacklist in 1982.  The inclusion hampered its access to global markets and tarred it as an international pariah.  Cuba has protested against this decision and had demanded to rescind the decision.

Now only Iran, Sudan and Syria still remain on the terror blacklist. The Presidents of the US and Cuba met at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City in April 2015, in the first meetings between the countries' leaders in more than 50 years.

The leaders agreed that a strong majority of citizens in both Cuba and the US would back warmer relations.

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