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On May 29, 2015, the U.S. Government announced Cuba’s removal from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (the “SST List”), five months after President Obama instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to reevaluate Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. We reported on the U.S. Government’s process of reevaluating Cuba’s inclusion on the SST List in our blog post of April 16, 2015. A 45-day period for the U.S. Congress to review the President’s decision to remove Cuba from the SST List began on April 14, 2015. With that congressional review period now expired, the Secretary of State has made the final decision to remove Cuba from the SST List. This development is historic, given that Cuba had been on the SST List since 1982. The SST List now only includes three countries: Iran, Syria, and Sudan. While Cuba’s removal from the SST List represents a further step towards normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations, it does not affect most U.S. trade and financial sanctions targeting Cuba. In other words, the U.S. embargo of Cuba remains in effect despite Cuba’s removal from the SST List. Cuba’s removal from the SST List may, however, provide for the following potential changes, subject to regulatory amendments: (i) eligibility for authorized exports to Cuba of a broader range of dual-use goods, software, and technology subject to U.S. jurisdiction under the Export Administration Regulations; (ii) eligibility for certain U.S. federal assistance to Cuba; and (iii) restrictions on the ability of U.S. citizens to pursue monetary damages against Cuba in U.S. courts under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.

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