President Obama indicated Thursday that he is preparing to announce Cuba’s removal from the U.S. State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism, a move that should quickly lead to a full restoration of diplomatic ties and the opening of embassies in Havana and Washington.
Speaking at a gathering of Caribbean leaders here, Obama said the State Department had finished a review of the issue. There is little doubt that it recommends he drop Cuba from the list, and the only real question is when the announcement will be made.
That could come as early as this week, as Obama attends a summit of Latin American leaders that for the first time will be joined by Cuban President Raúl Castro. Administration officials said a decision on when the president will take action has not been finalized and awaits formal consultation with other affected government agencies.