NBC Hails Cuba’s Removal from Terrorism List; ‘Another Remnant of the Cold War Fell Away’

Hours after President Obama moved to strike Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News cheered the decision by the President as “another historic step” and “another remnant of the Cold War” tumbling down.

Interim anchor Lester Holt began with the announcement that “[w]e are witnessing tonight another historic step in thawing relations between the U.S. and Cuba” with “[t]he White House announcing that President Obama will remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.”

Holt then tossed over to senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing, who took things a step further and proclaimed that “[a]nother remnant of the Cold War fell away this afternoon” with the President’s message to Congress (as they have 45 days to reject the deal with a veto-proof majority before it becomes official).

Jansing continued by adding that the “decision to remove them gives substance to the symbolism of the weekend's historic handshake between President Obama and Raul Castro” and “paves the way for the opening of embassies and could mean some significant new economic opportunities for both countries.”

Making no mention that Cuba’s a communist state, she cited a few excerpts from the President’s message and the slim chances that there’s a veto-proof majority to override the President. Jansing also mentioned that the decision has “vocal opponents” and include Republican presidential candidate and Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Fla.).

ABC’s World News Tonight also covered Obama’s decision, but did so in the form of a 34-second news brief. Anchor David Muir told viewers that the President was “making good on that promise” he had made over the weekend during a meeting with Cuban dictator Raul Castro that it was “time to turn the page” and reestablish relations with the communist country.

Also, Muir found time to remind viewers of his excursion to Cuba in January (masquerading as a news report from Havana):

You'll remember our trip to Cuba, after our exclusive interview with the President on Cuba. So many of the children there telling us they'd never even seen an iPhone. The move paves the way to open embassies in both countries and making it easier for Cuba to do business with American banks.

Similarly, the CBS Evening News devoted just a single news brief to the story. Lasting for 28 seconds, anchor Scott Pelley reported the following: 

Four days after that historic handshake with Raul Castro, President Obama took another step today toward normalizing relations with Cuba. The White House said he's removing Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Cuba first made that list in 1982, but the announcement today said the communist nation has not provided support for terrorism in the last six months and has promised not to do so in the future. 

The transcript of the segment from April 14's NBC Nightly News can be found below.

NBC Nightly News
April 14, 2015
7:09 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Off the Terror List]

LESTER HOLT: We are witnessing tonight another historic step in thawing relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The White House announcing that President Obama will remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing joins us tonight from the White House with more on this. Chris? 

CHRIS JANSING: Good evening, Lester. Another remnant of the Cold War fell away this afternoon. Cuba has been on that list of state sponsors since 1982, and today's decision to remove them gives substance to the symbolism of the weekend's historic handshake between President Obama and Raul Castro. It paves the way for the opening of embassies and could mean some significant new economic opportunities for both countries. In his message to Congress today, he said, quote, Cuba “has not provided any support for international terrorism” over the last six months and “has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.” Now, the move does have vocal opponents, including just announced presidential candidate Marco Rubio, who tonight says it’s a terrible decision. Congress now has 45 days to review Cuba's removal from the list, but it is unlikely to block it. Lester? 

HOLT: Chris Jansen tonight at the White House, thanks.

NBDaily Foreign Policy Cuba War on Terrorism Communists Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Government & Press President Barack Obama President Obama Scott Pelley Lester Holt Chris Jansing David Muir Barack Obama Raul Castro
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