The United States has removed Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism as part of a process of normalizing relations between the Cold War foes.
The State Department said on May 29 that the United States has "significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba's policies and actions."
But those concerns, the statement added, "fall outside the criteria relevant to the rescission of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation."
The move eliminates a major obstacle toward restoring diplomatic ties, including opening embassies in Washington and Havana and returning ambassadors to the two countries.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro opened the door to restoring relations in December 2014 with an exchange of prisoners.
The U.S. trade embargo against the communist island remains and may only be ended by Congress.
Based on reporting by AP and dpa