WASHINGTON DC —
Supporters of Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF government, based in the United States, have launched an album championing the country’s land reform program, the five year economic blue print – Zimbabwe Agenda for Social and Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET) and other initiatives that they say have been criticized by opponents.
Titled Battle Cry for Cuba and Zimbabwe, the music also calls for the lifting of travel and other measures against government officials of Zimbabwe and Cuba, including its presidents.
Behind the whole project is Obi Egbuna Junior, the Washington correspondent for the Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe and also a member of the Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship Association.
Egbuna explains why compiled the CD, and who has contributed to it.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he intended to take communist Cuba off the United States' list of state sponsors of terrorism, part of his effort to normalize relations with the island nation after five decades of hostilities.
The American leader told Congress of his intention after a State Department review concluded that Cuba "has not provided any support for international terrorism" in the last six months, and it has given the U.S. assurances that it does not intend to in the future.
Senior administration officials said the State Department review was “extremely rigorous,” and officials said they were “very confident” about the recommendation.
Obama's action came just days after he met with Cuban President Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas in Panama, the first face-to-face meeting of leaders of the two countries in more than 50 years.
Congressional reaction to President Obama’s push to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism spans from ardent support to fervent opposition, with many lawmakers of both parties taking a wait-and-see approach.
“Long overdue,” said Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who ridiculed any suggestion that Cuba today poses a security threat to the United States.
“They are riding the last mile of socialism in a ’57 Chevy. They didn’t belong on the list for a while; it was more a political designation," he said. "That list ought to mean something. Now [with Cuba’s likely removal], it means a lot more.”
By contrast, Cuban-American Republican Senator Marco Rubio issued a video condemning the president’s move.
“Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism. They harbor fugitives of American justice,” he said. “It is also the country that is helping North Korea evade weapons sanctions by the United Nations. I think it sends a chilling message to our enemies abroad that this White House is no longer serious about calling terrorism by its proper name.”