JUDICIAL WATCH — In a quest to normalize relations Obama lifted sanctions against Cuba and celebrated being the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Communist island since 1928, but the Caribbean nation still appears on a crucial government terrorist list along with the world’s most violent Islamic groups. This contradiction indicates that, when it comes to our bloated government, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
Here’s some of the history. Before Obama “normalized” relations and lifted economic sanctions, Cuba for decades appeared on the State Department’s list of nation’s that sponsor terrorism. Its longtime communist regime is renowned for committing atrocious human rights violations and openly offering refuge to criminals on the run from U.S. justice. Among them is a Black Liberation Army leader on the FBI’s most wanted list after a prison escape following a conviction for murdering a New Jersey State Trooper. More recently, Medicare fraud ringleaders have escaped to Cuba after fleecing the U.S. government out of tens of millions of dollars.
Nevertheless, in 2014 Obama announced he was charting a new course in Cuba by “normalizing relations with a country just 90 miles off our coast.” This has included opening an American embassy in Havana (inaugurated with a flag-raising ceremony led by Secretary of State John Kerry), easing travel and export sanctions, reestablishing direct mail and establishing a bunch of “bi-lateral” commissions to deal with everything from human rights to human trafficking to business ventures and other shared interests. On May 29, 2015, the Obama administration rescinded Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, calling it “another step forward toward a more normal and productive relationship between the United States and Cuba.” Kerry had the final word on that.