Rubio blasts Obama's move to remove Cuba from terror list

Rubio Condemns Obama's Plan to Remove Cuba from Terrorism List
Rubio Condemns Obama's Plan to Remove Cuba from Terrorism List

Presidential candidate and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has sharp criticism for the Obama administration's push to remove Cuba from the official list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

Rubio, whose parents left Cuba for America decades ago, called the move "terrible" but also "not surprising unfortunately" in a video statement released by his presidential campaign Tuesday night.

The White House officially announced the decision Tuesday, saying that the Cuban government "has not provided any support for international terrorism" for at least six months in addition to having given "assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future."

But Rubio bluntly disagreed with that assessment.

"Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism," he said. "They harbor fugitives of American justice, including someone who killed a police officer in New Jersey over 30 years ago. It's also the country that's helping North Korea evade weapons sanctions by the United Nations."

Rubio also said the decision sends a "chilling message to our enemies aboard that this White House is no longer serious about calling terrorism by its proper name."

Cuba had been on the list since 1982 during the height of the Cold War. When weighing in on Tuesday's decision U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said "circumstances have changed" since then.

The move comes as the White House is seeking to normalize relations with Cuba. Over the weekend Obama made history when he became the first president to hold a face-to-face meeting with a Cuban leader in decades at the Summit of the Americas when he met with President Raul Castro.

For more on this story:
Obama removes Cuba from state sponsor of terror list
Cubans hail removal from US list of state terrorism sponsors
Obama-Castro meeting overshadows anti-US line at summit