Official: Review of Cuba as terror sponsor in 'final stages'

Cuba-US Warming, Hopes of Opening Embassy, Held Up by Fight Over Cuba on Terror List

WASHINGTON (AP) -- White House officials left open the possibility that President Barack Obama could recommend Cuba's removal from a list of state sponsors of terror around the time of this week's Summit of the Americas in Panama. They also sought to soften tensions with Venezuela that threatened to overshadow the summit.

Deputy National Security adviser Benjamin Rhodes said Tuesday the State Department's review of Cuba's place on that terror list is in "its final stages." He would not rule out an Obama announcement at the two-day summit in Panama City.

Rhodes also downplayed U.S. sanctions against certain Venezuelans in protest of President Nicolas Maduro's crackdown on dissent.

Rhodes said the U.S. doesn't believe Venezuela poses a threat to U.S. security. He said the sanctions were not meant to target the Venezuelan government.

More from AOL.com:
Duke rallies late to claim national championship
New charges for teen in Vegas mom slaying
Tactic Clinton will likely avoid in her 2016 bid
Critics rebuke India's latest pollution plan

Read Full Story