Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Yes, Cuba Is a State Sponsor of Terror

    Yes, Cuba Is a State Sponsor of Terror
    By Yleem Poblete & Jason I. Poblete

    The most senior U.S. delegation in decades will soon be in Havana to
    engage a declared enemy of the United States in discussions about
    “normalizing” relations. Covering much more subject matter than routine
    migration issues, these meetings stem in large measure from the December
    17 return of spies to Cuba who are responsible for American deaths.

    Obama sent three Cuban spies back to the island, trading them for the
    release of American Alan Gross. Mr. Gross had been held hostage for five
    years for the “crime” of teaching Jewish Cubans how to connect to the
    Internet. As part of this lopsided deal, the Obama administration also
    declared American policy a failure and offered a large basket of
    potential economic and diplomatic benefits.
    This was a significant ideological and political victory for the
    Communist regime. And there are more rewards in the offing.
    Administration officials are reportedly considering removing Cuba from
    the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism — a request Raul Castro
    made in May 2014 and one that the Cuban regime has made many times in
    recent years. Under Section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act, a
    country’s designation as supporting acts of international terrorism may
    be rescinded in only two ways. Cuba is not ready to come off that list.
    Quite the opposite.

    In the first instance, the President must certify to the Congress that
    there has been a fundamental change in the leadership and policies of
    the government in question, as was the case with Iraq after the removal
    of Saddam Hussein. There is no legitimate way that administration
    officials can make such a claim with respect to Cuba. Moreover, the
    criteria for determining such a systemic transformation is clearly
    defined in the LIBERTAD Act, known as the Helms-Burton law. For
    starters, as stated in the law, Fidel and Raul Castro cannot be part of
    the governing structure.

    That leaves only the second option for removal from the list. To remove
    Cuba’s terrorism designation, the president would need to submit a
    report to Congress, 45 days prior to the proposed removal, certifying
    that 1) the regime has not provided any support for international
    terrorism during the preceding six months and 2) the government has
    provided assurances that it will not support acts of international
    terrorism in the future. Most would agree that Cuba fails on both counts.

    Cuba has supported and provided safe haven to members of the Basque
    Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
    Colombia (FARC). Both are U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist
    Organizations (FTOs). The Obama administration would therefore need to
    remove ETA and FARC from the FTO list, before removing Cuba from the
    state-sponsors-of-terrorism list. Both actions are untenable at this
    time. Unless Spain’s foreign-policy establishment is about to make a
    radical shift in thinking, ETA remains a terrorist organization and
    there are ETA sympathizers in Cuba who are wanted for terrible crimes
    against the Spanish people. As for FARC, despite the faux peace process
    in Havana the past few months, it continues to carry out violent acts in
    Colombia, has no plans to lay down arms anytime soon, and has links to
    al-Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

    The “April 2014 State Department Country Reports on Terrorism,” however,
    implied that the only role the Castro regime had with FARC was
    facilitating travel for the “peace talks” between these terrorists and
    the Colombian government. It further stated that the ETA presence in
    Cuba is diminished. It would appear that a kinder-and-gentler Cuba
    narrative is being written to accommodate a preconceived policy outcome.

    Source: Yes, Cuba Is a State Sponsor of Terror | National Review Online