State Department to recommend whether Cuba should be removed from terror list

Cuba on U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1982

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – The State Department is holding a news conference Wednesday afternoon where they may recommend that Cuba be removed from the U.S.' list of countries that sponsor terrorism.

Cuba has been on the nation's list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1982.

But Cuba's program of fomenting revolution abroad is far less active now than it was in the 1980s.  Under President Raul Castro, the Cuban government has scaled back its involvement with terror groups overseas, although it was caught not long ago shipping military supplies to North Korea. 

Cuba also is known to harbor terrorists from Spain and Colombia, and for decades has given refuge to a convicted American cop-killer, Joanne Chesimard.

Nevertheless, President Barack Obama announced his new Cuba policy in December, saying it's better to engage and talk to Cuba than not. 

Obama will lead the U.S. delegation at the Summit of the Americas which begins Thursday in Panama.

The president's standing with Latin American nations, and with Cuba, will get a big boost if he removes Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

South Florida's three Cuban-American members of congress are dead set against removing Cuba from the terror list.  However, the decision is solely the president's, who will get a recommendation from the State Department.