U.S. has ‘no current plans’ to take Cuba off terror list

May 2, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States does not foresee taking Cuba off its blacklist of countries accused of supporting terrorism, which also includes Syria, Iran and Sudan, an official said Wednesday.

“There are no changes in our list of state sponsors of terrorism,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in an email. “The Department has no current plans to remove Cuba from the state sponsors of terrorism list.”

The State Department had been expected to publish its annual report on terrorism, which includes the blacklist, on Tuesday. It could be released later this month.

“We do not use the report to announce new designations or rescissions,” Ventrell said. These can happen at any time.

Washington accuses the communist-run island of harboring Colombian rebels, Basque militants and U.S. fugitives.

Washington and Havana do not have official diplomatic relations, but each country has an interests section in the other.

The United States imposed an economic embargo on Cuba in 1962 that prohibits U.S. citizens from visiting the island and spending money there without special government authorization.

U.S. President Barack Obama has eased some measures, including making it easier for Cuban-Americans to visit relatives on the island, and said he would be ready to change the policy if he sees evidence of political reform.

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