President Barack Obama said Tuesday he would act fast to take Cuba off the list of terrorism-sponsoring countries once he gets a State Department recommendation.
“As soon as I get a recommendation, I'll be in a position to act on it,” Obama said in an interview with National Public Radio.
In a March interview with Reuters Obama had said he hoped to have an embassy open in Cuba by the time of the April 10-11 Summit of the Americas later this week. There Obama will meet with Cuban president Raul Castro. Cuba has made it clear that it will not move on certain negotiations until it is removed from the list.
Cuba had been added to the list of terrorism sponsors in 1982 when it was aiding Marxist insurgencies. Since then the country has been aiding a peace process with Colombia's left-wing FARC guerrillas.
Obama said in the NPR interview the U.S. hopes to be in a position to have an embassy in Cuba and have more regular contacts and consultations on different issues. "What I'm saying is, I'm going to be taking a very close look at what the State Department recommends," Obama said.
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