The U.S. and Cuban presidents arrive in Panama for a historic summit that could see the two leaders meet face to face. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION U.S. President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro arrived in Panama on Thursday (April 9) to attend a historic hemispheric summit that might bring them face-to-face for the first time since the countries announced a diplomatic breakthrough in December. Obama arrived in Panama from Jamaica as news broke that the U.S. State Department has recommended that Cuba be removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, according to a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee aide. Removing Cuba from the list would clear a major obstacle in the effort to restore diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana, paving the way for the reopening of embassies that have been shut for 54 years, and signal momentum in ending America's isolation from the Communist island nation. Obama ordered the review after announcing a diplomatic breakthrough with Havana on December 17 and has vowed to act quickly once he receives the recommendation. Obama did not signal how he was leaning, but his previous statements have suggested that he would approve taking Cuba off the list. Cuba was added to the list of terrorism sponsors in 1982, when it was aiding Marxist insurgencies in Colombia and elsewhere. Other countries on the list include Iran, Sudan and Syria. Obama will take part in the Summit of the Americas which runs from April 10 to 11.