Republicans say they will not mount a challenge to President Barack Obama’s plan to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
South Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen met with congressional colleagues last week to map strategy to prevent the de-listing and she had planned to introduce a bill this week.
But she told Foreign Policy Wednesday that legally Congress can’t prevent the White House from taking Cuba off the list. “We can't undo it. We just got the word from the parliamentarian: It's a no-go.”
Ros-Lehtinen told Foreign Policy that 35 co-sponsors had signed on to draft legislation before the decision was made not to go forward with it.
Obama sent a report to Congress April 14 saying he planned to take Cuba off the list because it had provided no support for international terrorism during the past six months and the Cuban government had given assurances that it wouldn’t support acts of international terrorism in the future.
Cuba was placed on the list in 1982 because of its effort to promote armed revolution in Latin America. Cuban officials have always contended that Cuba never should have been put on the list.
By law, the president was required to inform Congress 45 days before his directive went into effect. Now, with no challenges, Cuba is expected to be removed from the list in late May.