Thursday, December 1, 2011
Ex-U.S. State Dept. official urges removal of Cuba from state-sponsored terror list
Today Wayne Smith, director of the Cuban Project of the Center for International Politics, told a National Press Club luncheon in Washington that Cuba should be removed from the list. "Including Cuba on the list of countries promoting terrorism is barbarous and needs to be corrected," he said. Smith was formerly the ranking U.S. representative at the American Interests Section in Havana. The two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations, but each maintains a limited consular presence in the other's capital.
Smith told journalists that keeping Cuba on the list is an obstacle to the development of a healthy post-Cold War foreign policy towards the island, and hampers the improvement of relations between Cuba and the United States. Other countries on the state-sponsored terrorism list include Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan. Cuba was added in 1982.
Another speaker from the Center told today's NPC audience that Cuban "hard-liners" have used the terrorist designation as an excuse for refusing to negotiate the release of convicted American contractor Alan Gross, who is serving a 15 year sentence for state security crimes. Cuban officials regularly protest their country's inclusion on the list.
Smith acknowledged that removing Cuba from the list will be difficult, given the politically charged atmosphere in the U.S., but said "clearly, it's the right thing to do."
The truth about Alan Gross: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2012/02/alan-gross-us-agent-who-knew-what-he.html.
Hillary Clinton's worn out Cuban game plan: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2011/10/hillary-clinton-sticks-to-same-old-game.html.
The Alan Gross story:
Judy Gross asks Obama, "please bring my husband home": http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2011/11/judy-gross-asks-president-obama-to.html.
No Christmas pardon for Alan Gross: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2011/12/cuban-will-pardon-almost-3000-prisoners.html.
Alan Gross y Los Cinco de Miami: http://mexicogulfreporter-supplement.blogspot.com/2011/11/alan-gross-y-los-cinco-de-miami.html.
Alan Gross supporters take their release crusade on the road: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2011/11/alan-gross-supporters-take-their.html.
U.S. double standard on prisoners hurts Alan Gross: http://mexicogulfreporter-supplement.blogspot.com/2011/11/us-shows-revolting-double-standard-in.html.
U.S. embargo of Cuba turns 50: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2012/02/us-embargo-of-cuba-is-50-years-old.html.
Newt Gingrich spews the same old Cold War rhetoric on Cuba: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2012/01/gingrich-spews-same-old-cold-war.html.
Hemingway Bar opens at Cuban consulate in Washington: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2011/11/hemingway-bar-opens-in-cuban-diplomatic.html.
What does Che Guevara have to do with Mercedes-Benz?: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-does-che-guevara-have-to-do-with.html.
at 2:50 PM