March 5, 2013 |

Upcoming Event- “Taking Cuba off the Terrorist List: A Question of National Interest”

A panel discussion held by: 

  • The Center for International Policy
  • The Latin America Working Group Education Fund and
  • The Washington Office on Latin America 

8:30 a.m. Registration and continental breakfast

9:00 a.m. —11:00 a.m. Panel discussion
March 7, 2013
National Press Club
529 14th St., NW, 13th floor


Rep. James P. McGovern, D-MA Participant in recent delegation trip to Cuba, Wayne Smith, Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy and Former head of the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba (1979-82) Ambassador Anthony Quainton, Diplomat-in-Residence, American University Robert Muse, Esq. Founder, Muse and Associates, Adam Isacson Senior Associate for Regional Security Policy at WOLA, Dr. Ana Garcia Chichester Cuban-American Professor, Mary Washington University

RSVP online here
Or send to Emily Chow at the Latin America Working Group: or 202 546 7010.

This is a timely topic. A distinguished congressional delegation led by Senator Patrick Leahy has just returned from Cuba, and a number of its members have recommended that Cuba be removed from the U.S. State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Concurrently, the Boston Globe reported that senior State Department officials are actively considering Cuba’s removal from the list.

Cuba was placed on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism in 1982 on the grounds that the Cuban government supported armed revolution in the Americas; today, the State Department alleges that Cuba harbors Basque ETA members, Colombian FARC and ELN members, and U.S. fugitives from justice. The official justification for maintaining Cuba on the list has become increasingly thin. Recent events suggest that keeping Cuba on the list is not only hard to justify, but also counterproductive. The U.S. State Department has recognized Cuba’s constructive role in the peace talks between the government of Colombia and the FARC being held in Havana. Cuba´s inclusion on the terrorist list at a time when it is instrumental in brokering peace negotiations for one of the United States’ closest allies makes U.S. foreign policy appear contradictory. More broadly, the U.S. approach toward Cuba—which is exemplified by the terrorist list designation—has been publicly challenged by Latin American leaders, especially at the 2012 Summit of the Americas.

Please join us for this very timely discussion with an exciting panel of experts: Rep. James McGovern (D-MA), participant in the recent congressional delegation to Cuba; Wayne Smith, head of the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba under President Jimmy Carter; Ambassador Anthony Quainton, a former State Department official who was involved in the original decision to put Cuba on the list in 1982; Attorney Robert Muse, specialist in international law who follows the legal issues related to designation as a “state sponsor of terrorism;” Adam Isacson, Senior Associate at the Washington Office on Latin America and a Colombia specialist who follows the Colombia peace process and the Cuban role in the peace process; and Ana Garcia Chichester, a Cuban-American professor of Spanish at Mary Washington University.

The speakers will be available for questions from the press.

Questions or to RSVP please contact Emily Chow at the  Latin America Working Group: or 202 546 7010.