Obama hints at Cuba’s removal from ‘terror’ list

| 09/04/2015 | 13 Comments

(CNS): The American president has said the US State Department has completed its review of Cuba’s inclusion on a list of countries that sponsor terrorism. But Speaking from Jamaica on Thursday, President Barack Obama said he was waiting for a recommendation from advisers before announcing his decision about the country’s removal.

Cayman News Service

US President Barack Obama and Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller

With news from the US, however, that the State Department had recommended removal, it is likely that Cuba will soon be off the list, paving the way for the full restoration of diplomatic ties and the opening of embassies in Havana and Washington after well over 50 years.

Speaking at a gathering of Caribbean leaders in Kingston, Obama said that he would “not make an announcement today”, but added that they were “going to be in a position to move forward on opening embassies”, making it clear what the decision will be.

As he began a meeting with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, Obama said Cuban public opinion demonstrated “overwhelming support” for the normalization process. With the US president set to meet with the Cuban leader Raul Castro Friday at the Summit of the Americas in Panama, Obama may reveal his decision then.

During Obama’s short visit with CARICOM leaders, Simpson-Miller described the changing situation between the US and Cuba as “a bold and courageous move … for the good of all of our people”. She said Obama was “on the right side of history”.

The talks covered regional security and economic development, but the visit was also about undermining Venezuela’s attempts to draw the Caribbean states under its influence with cut-rate oil to buy anti-American support from cash-strapped Caribbean governments. The Obama administration hopes to help fund regional infrastructure to receive and use US fuels.

In his address at the opening ceremony of the CARICOM-US Summit, the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Perry Christi,e said,  “As small states, we have long recognized the value of pooling our resources. We have adjusted our priorities to rebound from the crisis of 2009. However, it is clear that the magnitude of the issues often overwhelms the resources which CARICOM can collectively bring to bear.” He also stressed the urgency of addressing transnational crime, illegal migration, and the importation of guns.

“More must be done in a practical way to stop the crime. Let us work together to build a zone of peace; to stop crime; to end the violence; promote our young and ensure our common futures,” Christie added.

As well as the official meetings with the Caribbean leaders, Obama took time out on his arrival in Kingston on Wednesday night for a visit to the Bob Marley Museum, which he described as one of the most fun meetings of his presidential career so far. The US president said he was a fan of the musician, telling his museum guide, “I still have all the albums.”

Obama spent 20 minutes in the museum, which now houses artefacts from the singer’s life, including gold records and his Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.

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Category: Caribbean, USA, World News

Comments (13)

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  1. Driftwood says:

    Acutally I was in Eastern europe when the wall came down, seriously..and my point exactly, they had changes of governments, changes of direction and it was not at all pretty in many places..corruption (although that was inherent in the Soviet system), government theiving and so on and so on. The point is, there is currently no sign of the Castros going.

  2. David Miller says:

    Gee why didn’t Obama come look for us?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sounds sensible. Remove Cuba and then add Israel.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Brace yourselves because when Cuba opens up it’s going to be like a tsunami of US investment flowing into the country and it ain’t far off coming.

    What people try to forget is that Cuba is pretty much the same size as Ohio, it’s not a tiny Caribbean island, and huge areas of it are undeveloped. They also have a population of around 11 million, most of them at least reasonably well educated. Put those two factors together with American money and you will soon have a major game changer in this region.

    • Driftwood says:

      It’s still a long long way away. Cuba needs a new government to open up investment first, and to give up state control. Cannot see that happening anytime soon

      • Anonymous says:

        You obviously weren’t in Eastern Europe when the Iron Curtain was coming down. I was and the speed with which change comes when the money starts flowing is staggering.

        As the original poster said it’s like a tsunami and state control doesn’t survive the tidal wave for long. In the space of months I saw numerous state-owned properties, particularly hotels, snapped up by Western developers. Many of those were very quickly transformed into luxury hotels and if you do a hotel search now not only are all the major chains present but some of the room rates are truly staggering.

        Possibly the most extreme example of what happens when communism loses its grip is Albania. When I was first there in 1991 it was the third-world in the middle of Europe. They had a rather rocky few years afterwards but again once the money started coming (and that was helped in 1999 by NATO troops being based there during their intervention in Kosovo) the transformation was dramatic. 15 years ago most of the cities had just one main hotel. If you go online today Tirana alone has 130 hotels, many of them built in the past five years.

        Remember the old saying, “Money talks,” and if you’re intent on converting a socialist country to capitalism it’s very persuasive. I bet the main subject of any meetings between Cuba and the USA hasn’t been terrorism or human rights but ‘what’s in this for us’.

    • Anonymous says:

      All that story shows is that cash-strapped Caribbean countries are falling into the same trap Cuba has just dragged itself out of and are ignoring the message that there’s no such thing as a free Chinese lunch. Anyone who bothers to take a look at Chinese giveaways over recent years knows that the downside always vastly outweighs the benefits.

      • Anonymous says:

        I hope people will read this.

        Well with Cuba you don’t have to worry about that, if you do something they don’t like or move just one millimeter from the agreement, they will nationalized your assets, end the deal, keep everything and trial any member of the foreign organization for corruption, bribery, illegal enrichment, prostitution and/or child pornography.

        Let me explain quickly, they will let you run as long as is convenient for them but they will keep records of everything and make a file, that file will be pulled and showed to the world when needed. I

        f you go to a club and meet a girl, buy her a couple of drinks, take her to your apt or go to hers, and give her a Pennie, even for taking a taxi, and you do not register such relationship with the Immigration Dept? that is prostitution. If you meet someone that likes something as simple as a T-shirt that you owned, and decided to sell it to him for one Penny without a license? that is illegal enrichment, If you are in a line to get into a club and you give the doorman a Penny to cut the line? that is bribery and, if that girl you met, really hot, well mature, takes a sex picture of herself in your phone, and you thought she was of age but she is 16? that is child pornography.

        All this felonies are well typified in the Cuban law, which BTW, not knowing it, does not exempt you from guilt, and happens every single day with more than half of the tourist that visits Cuba, they just don’t enforced it because is not convenient. But try to fail in your part of any agreement with the Cuban Government and they will pulled that file. perhaps you should know that all contracts has that clause into it, if Representatives commit a crime and all the mentioned above sentences range between 15 years to life.

        once they nationalized it? there is nothing you can do.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Its a shame that cayman did nothing to address the pier.
    Soon all ships will go to cuba and cayman will become a no stop
    On a good note second rate old ships will still come, perhaps Carnival will even bring back The Holiday for cheap cruises to Jamaica and Cayman.
    that’s terrorism for ya
    The land that time forgot we wont be remembered
    the banks are gone soon the ships also

    • Anonymous says:

      and now bringing in a minimum wage instead of immigration doing their jobs, more companies will close

      • Anonymous says:

        the old timers and greedy want cayman to close up
        they liked it more b4 the internet now they find it harder to bring in new suckers
        thus get rid of the outsiders is the logic

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