UPDATE: Late yesterday evening, 9 Apr, The Hill newspaper reported, State Department Wants Cuba Removed From Terrorist List.
Despite evidence to the contrary, the Obama Administration appears to be moving forward with removing Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. According to various senior government sources in town, the announcement is expected today or early this week. Congress can stop it, however, at this juncture, we doubt that it will.
As we wrote on January 6, Congress will have 45 days to evaluate the rescission proposal and act accordingly. In other words, it is not a fait accompli that Cuba will be removed from the state sponsors list. Congress can and should act and reverse this process. If you’d like to know more about this process, read Yes, Cuba is a State Sponsor of Terror at National Review Online. On January 26 in The Hill newspaper, we also published five (5) things that Congress should have done then to curtail the chances of a delisting, as well as other matters.
The whitewashing and policy laundering of Cuban terrorism, and other Cuban misdeeds that undermine U.S. interests throughout the Western Hemisphere and beyond, should not surprise anyone who follows the Obama foreign policy modus operandi. They’ve done exactly the same with the Iranians and the Palestinian Authority. They have a policy driven by ego and personality interested in the history books, not the U.S. national interest.
Congress could have prevented this, but they became sidetracked with Iran sanctions bill that may be too little too late. However on Cuba, they can stop the administration by moving forward with a resolution of disapproval as well as, later in the year, de-funding key State Department programs, bureaus, and proposed embassies through the Foreign Ops appropriations process.
By the way, the Cuban regime is not reforming; they are reforms in name only. To check a box. It is surviving. The Cuban people are increasingly frustrated with the lack of food, money, and if this were possible, sinking quality of life. It is social, political, and economic pressure cooker. It is a clear example that economic sanctions have worked and are working.
In the near term, Communist Party officials understand that if oil prices keep dropping, and they will, its chief source of oil, Venezuela, will face difficult economic and political times. So will the Cubans. In fact the problems are more acute in the near term for the Cuban Communist Party. Capital outflows are increasing from developing markets. This also hurts Cuba. So the Cubans are looking for a lifeline and they found one in President Obama.
The Western Hemisphere will be a little less safe if the Obama Administration de-lists Cuba. And who knows what else these people have in store. Remember, as one former senior Obama Administration official said a few months ago, “[t]his was not a negotiation … [i]t was in fact, a unilateral decision. We didn’t want anything in return” from the Cubans.
The rule of law means nothing to certain people of the President’s national security team, that does not mean Congress needs to roll over all allow them to do as they will. The American taxpayer, indeed, all freedom-loving people in the Americas, deserve better. Meanwhile, leaders of the Forum of Sao Paolo nations celebrate their good fortune.