April 08, 2015

Congresswoman Lee: Recommendation to Remove Cuba from State Sponsor of Terrorism List is “An Important Step Forward to Fully Normalizing Relations”

Oakland, CA – Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement in response to the State Department’s recommendation that Cuba be removed from the State Sponsor of Terrorism List:

“I am pleased to see the State Department’s recommendation encouraging the removal of Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism List. This action is an important step forward to fully normalizing relations.

Along with many of my colleagues, I have long called for Cuba to be removed from this list.  In December of 2013, I wrote a letter calling on the State Department and President Obama to de-list Cuba. I have reiterated that call in subsequent letters, including a December 2014 letter signed by 34 of my colleagues, which called for moves toward normalization ahead of the Summit of the Americas.

As a participant at the 7th Summit of the Americas this week in Panama City, it is clear to me that greater partnership between the U.S. and Cuba will strengthen both nations. Removing Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism List would be a clear indication from President Obama that our country is invested in building a more productive relationship.

As we continue to move forward, I know these renewed ties will bring great benefits to the Cuban and American people.  Given Cuba’s close proximity to the U.S., improved relations will open new trade opportunities that will allow U.S. businesses to expand and create jobs here at home. This will also expand existing education and cultural exchanges.

Congress also has a critical role to play.

It’s past time to end the failed embargo, lift the restrictive travel ban and formally normalize relations.

I am glad to be co-leading The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act (H.R. 664) and Free Trade with Cuba Act (H.R. 403) to forge a new path between our two countries.”


Congresswoman Barbara Lee has been working to end our failed policies toward Cuba for more than 30 years. She has traveled to Cuba more than 21 times leading several Congressional delegations to the island. 

Currently, she is attending the Seventh Summit of the Americas with President Obama and other Congressional leaders.  This is the first Summit that will be attended by Cuban President Raul Castro.  Read Congresswoman Lee’s recent OpEd on U.S.-Cuba relations.


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.