Obama officially asks Congress to remove Cuba off terror list

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The United States no longer wants to list Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism, the White House announced. Its removal is a key step in President Barack Obama’s plan to normalize relations between the US and Cuba.

Obama submitted the legally required report and certification documents to Congress needed to officially remove Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, the White House National Security Council tweeted Tuesday.

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We will continue to have differences with the Cuban government, but our concerns over a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions fall outside the criteria that is relevant to whether to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” the White House said in a statement.

Obama’s decision came after the State Department reviewed Cuba’s presence on the list, AP reported. The US has not actively accused Cuba of supporting terrorism in years.

“Put simply, [Obama] is acting to remove Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list because Cuba is not a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor for strategic communications and speechwriting, tweeted.

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Obama, Castro in first sit-down between US, Cuban leaders in more than 50 years

The move to clear Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list comes just two days after a historic meeting between Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama.

It was the first meeting of leaders from the the two countries in over 50 years ‒ since before the Cuban Revolution, in which Castro’s brother Fidel Castro overthrew the Cuban government in 1959.

In last April’s annual Country Report on Terrorism, the State Department admitted that Cuba did not belong on the list.

“There was no indication that the Cuban government provided weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups,” the report said. It did note that Cuba has historic ties to two regional terrorist groups ‒ the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) in Spain and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) ‒ bus said the ties “have become more distant.”

Cuba was placed on the list in 1982, due to its support for armed revolutionary groups in Latin America.

“Circumstances have changed since 1982,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. “Our Hemisphere, and the world, look very different today than they did 33 years ago. Our determination, pursuant to the facts, including corroborative assurances received from the Government of Cuba and the statutory standard, is that the time has come to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.”

In his message to Congress as he submitted the necessary documents, Obama said the government of Cuba “has not provided any support for international terrorism” over the last six months. He also told lawmakers that Cuba “has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.”

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) applauded the move on Twitter.

“[White House] and State Dept agree it’s time to remove Cuba from Terrorism list,” he wrote. “Good move. The list should mean something. It means more now.”

If Cuba is removed, the remaining countries on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list would be Iran, Sudan and Syria.

Final removal requires congressional action within 45 days. If Congress approves, it would pave the way for the US to open an embassy in Havana, and Cuba to open an embassy in Washington, DC.

Mullah Obama compares IRANIAN ‘hard-liners’ to American Republicans

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An enemy of the state elected to be the President of the state. Six years of destruction and ruin.

Michael Goodwin described this way in the NY Post:

First he comes for the banks and health care, uses the IRS to go after critics, politicizes the Justice Department, spies on journalists, tries to curb religious freedom, slashes the military, throws open the borders, doubles the debt and nationalizes the Internet.

He lies to the public, ignores the Constitution, inflames race relations and urges Latinos to punish Republican “enemies.” He abandons our ­allies, appeases tyrants, coddles ­adversaries and uses the Crusades as an excuse for inaction as Islamist terrorists slaughter their way across the Mideast.

Obama has endless empathy and  sympathy for the murderous mullahs of Iran but only hatred and contempt for proud Americans, patriots and Republicans.

The nuclear terrorist president.

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Despicable: Obama compares IRANIAN ‘hard-liners’ to American Republicans

By Right Scoop, Apr 11, 2015

Here’s another example of how Obama looks at every issue through a myopic prism that only reflects his interests and beliefs. During a press conference about the accord reached with his friends in Communist Cuba, Obama compared Iranian “hard-liners,” who advocate for the extermination of Israel and death to gays, with conservatives who oppose his nuke deal at home.

Watch below:

https://youtu.be/zPICZBGePBw

It’s incredible that someone with such an idiotic and solipsistic view of foreign policy could be handed the reigns to the most powerful country in the world for eight yeas. – See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2015/04/mullah-obama-compares-iranian-hard-liners-to-american-republicans.html/#sthash.Pza9FO7r.dpuf

Iran Threatening To Scrap Nuke Deal Unless All Sanctions Are Lifted Day One

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, joined that nation’s president Thursday in saying any nuclear agreement must include the immediate lifting of economic sanctions choking the country.

In his first public comments on the framework for a deal with world powers released last week, Khamenei told a gathering of religious poets he “is neither for nor against” the agreement. Because the agreement is just on a framework, not a deal itself, “nothing has been done yet,” he said.

“What has happened so far neither guarantees a deal … nor does it guarantee the content of a deal,” he said. “It doesn’t even guarantee the talks will go on until the end and will lead to a deal.”

He said the punitive “sanctions should be lifted completely on the very day of the deal.”

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Obama’s Dept. of Homeland Security Admits They Allowed 40 American ISIS Fighters BACK Into the USA

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by Warner Todd Huston

Obama’s Department of Homeland Security has admitted that US authorities have allowed 40 home-grown terrorists to come back into the US. 40 Americans who ran away to Syria to fight for the terror group ISIS are now back here. DHS then claimed they are “closely monitoring” them, so everything is OK. Right. Give me a break.

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So, Obama has now admitted that he has allowed domestic terrorists to run free inside the US, people who have already proved they are foreign fighters who have taken up arms against everything in which we believe!

Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson says dozens of Americans who traveled overseas to train with ISIS militants are now back in the United States.

“As I understand it, of the 180 Americans who have gone overseas to fight in Iraq and Syria, 40 have come back,” said 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl.

“I assume you’re keeping close tabs on those 40?” she asked Johnson.

“We have in fact kept close tabs on those who we believe have left and those who’ve come back,” Johnson responded. “A number have been arrested or investigated and we have systems in place to track these individuals. But you can’t know everything.”

You can’t know everything? In other words, DHS knows nothing and they probably just let 40 more Tsarnaev brothers to roam across the USA free as they please.

These people should have been arrested and thrown in Gitmo the SECOND they set foot on American soil. Yet Obama is allowing people who took up arms against us to wander around the country totally free.

Latin American Countries Want to Remove All US Military Bases *(I BET THAT THEY STILL WANT OUR MONEY AND THEY WILL STILL SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO THE GOOD OLD UNITED STATES)*

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Leaders from the United States, Canada and Latin America are gathering April 10-11 at the 7th Summit of the Americas to be held in Panama City, Panama, to talk about a variety of issues affecting the Western Hemisphere, including Cuba’s relationship with the United States as both countries thaw out of a decades-long diplomatic freeze.

Another controversial subject some of the member countries want to take up is asking the US government to close all military bases in Latin America.

“That is something that belongs in the Cold War,” said Colombian former president Ernesto Samper. “This is growing global economy and we have to leave aside all remnants of the past, especially unilateral politics. The bases are no longer relevant and should go.”

This isn’t the first time that Latin American leaders have asked the US government to close its military bases in the region, and like previous pronouncements on the subject, it is expected to go nowhere.

The US has several bases scattered throughout Latin America, including in Cuba (Guantánamo Bay), Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Honduras.

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Samper and other Latin American leaders also criticized the US for its recent remarks on Venezuela, when the Obama administration declared Venezuela  “a security threat.”

“No country has the right to judge another and impose sanctions or punishments unilaterally and on their own,” Samper said.

Political observers call the upcoming gathering “historic” because of Cuba’s presence and what that may mean for talks between the United States and Cuba. This is the first time since 1962 that Cuba attends a Summit of the Americas. There is even speculation whether President Obama would shake hands with Cuban leader Raúl Castro (Fidel Castro is not expected to attend) as part of the US continuing efforts to normalize relations between the two countries after more than 50 years.

Thirty-one leaders are expected to attend the summit, including the presidents of the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba and Venezuela.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/us/20150401/1020331869.html#ixzz3WAcjAJ3L

Fears of a new global crash as debts and dollar’s value rise

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As Greece puts the finishing touches to its latest round of cuts, some economists are increasingly alarmed about the signals from the world economy

BY HEATHER STEWART

Greek ministers are spending this weekend, almost five grinding years since Athens was first bailed out, wrangling over the details of the spending cuts and economic reforms they have drawn up to appease their creditors.

As the recriminations fly between Europe’s capitals, campaigners are warning that the global community has failed to learn the lessons of the Greek debt crisis – or even of Argentina’s default in 2001, the consequences of which are still being contested furiously in courts on both sides of the Atlantic.

As Janet Yellen’s Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates, boosting the value of the dollar, while the plunging price of crude puts intense pressure on the finances of oil-exporting countries, there are growing fears of a new debt crisis in the making.

Ann Pettifor of Prime Economics, who foreshadowed the credit crunch in her 2003 book The Coming First World Debt Crisis, says: “We’re going to have another financial crisis. Brazil’s already in great trouble with the strength of the dollar; I dread to think what’s happening in South Africa; then there’s Malaysia. We’re back to where we were, and that for me is really frightening.”

Since the aftershocks of the global financial crisis of 2008 died away, the world’s policymakers have spent countless hours rewriting the banking rulebook and rethinking monetary policy. But next to nothing has been done about the question of what to do about countries that can’t repay their debts, or how to stop them getting into trouble in the first place.

Brazil’s already in great trouble with the strength of the dollar; I dread to think what’s happening in South Africa

Ann Pettifor

Developing countries are using the UN to demand a change in the way sovereign defaults are dealt with. Led by Bolivian ambassador to the UN Sacha Sergio Llorenti, they are calling for a bankruptcy process akin to the Chapter 11 procedure for companies to be applied to governments.

Unctad, the UN’s Geneva-based trade and investment arm, has been working for several years to draw up a “roadmap” for sovereign debt resolution. It recommends a series of principles, including a moratorium on repayments while a solution is negotiated; the imposition of currency controls to prevent capital fleeing the troubled country; and continued lending by the IMF to prevent the kind of existential financial threat that roils world markets and causes severe economic hardship.

If a new set of rules could be established, Unctad believes, “they should help prevent financial meltdown in countries facing difficulties servicing their external obligations, which often results in a loss of market confidence, currency collapse and drastic interest rates hikes, inflicting serious damage on public and private balance sheets and leading to large losses in output and employment and a sharp increase in poverty”.

It calls for a once-and-for-all write-off, instead of the piecemeal Greek-style approach involving harsh terms and conditions that knock the economy off course and can ultimately make the debt even harder to repay. The threat of a genuine default of this kind could also help to constrain reckless lending by the private sector in the first place.

However, when these proposals were put to the UN general assembly last September, a number of developed countries, including the UK and the US, voted against it, claiming the UN was the wrong forum to discuss the proposal, which is anathema to powerful financial institutions.

Pettifor shares some of the UK and US’s scepticism. “The problem for me is that the UN has no leverage here,” she says. “It can make these moralistic pronouncements but ultimately it’s the IMF and the governments that make the decisions.”

Nevertheless, Llorenti has been touring the world’s capitals making the case for change, and hopes to bring the issue back for fresh discussions next month.

And while the debate rages, developing countries have been taking advantage of rock-bottom interest rates and the cheap money created by quantitative easing to stack up billions in new debt.

Using recently released World Bank data, the Jubilee Debt Campaign calculates that in 2013 alone – the latest period for which figures are available – borrowing by developing countries was up 40% to $17.3bn.

Brazil’s economy is likely to be seriously tested as the greenback rises; Turkey, Malaysia and Chile have large dollar-denominated debts and sliding currencies; and a string of African countries face sharp rises in debt repayments. Ghana and Zambia have already had to turn to the IMF to ask for help. It’s as if, as Pettifor warns, “absolutely nothing has changed since the crisis”.