(CNSNews.com) – In a speech from Havana, Cuba - a country listed by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism until 2015 - President Barack Obama condemned the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday, saying the world must unite “regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.”
“The thoughts and the prayers of the American people are with the people of Belgium, and we stand in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people. We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible, and this is yet another reminder that the world must unite,” Obama said.
At least 26 people died in two explosions – one in the subway and one at the airport. Authorities in Belgium say at least on explosion was the result of a suicide bomber.
“We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. We can, and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world,” Obama added.
Cuba was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982. It was de-listed as a state sponsor of terror effective on May 29, 2015 when the Secretary of State made the final decision to rescind the designation.
“A wide range of sanctions are imposed as a result of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation,” according to the State Department, including a ban on arms-related exports and sales; controls over exports of dual-use items, requiring 30-day Congressional notification for goods or services that could significantly enhance the terrorist-list country’s military capability or ability to support terrorism; prohibitions on economic assistance; and imposition of miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.”
“State Sponsor of Terrorism designations can be rescinded pursuant to two alternative paths,” according to the State Department.
The first path requires the president to “submit a report to Congress before the proposed rescission would take effect certifying that:
--There has been a fundamental change in the leadership and policies of the government of the country concerned,
--The government is not supporting acts of international terrorism, and
--The government has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.”
“The other path requires that the President submit a report to Congress, at least 45 days before the proposed rescission would take effect, justifying the rescission and certifying that:
--The government concerned has not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding six-month period, and
--The government concerned has provided assurances that that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.”