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Interview With Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; Will Boston Bomber Suspects' Parents Travel To U.S.?; Opening Statements In Trial Involving Michael Jackson's Death Under Way; Digging Up Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Digital Footprint

Aired April 29, 2013 - 15:29   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN, bottom of the hour. I'm Brooke Baldwin live in Boston.

U.S. policy toward Cuba may not seem like it has anything to do with terror attacks, especially the one we saw here two weeks ago in Boston. But it does. You see, Cuba is among the countries the U.S. State Department lists as state sponsors of terrorism. And it puts Cuba in the same category as countries like Iran and Syria and makes Cuba subject to punishing sanctions.

The new terrorism watch list comes out this week.

And CNN's national security analyst Juliette Kayyem argues in today's "Boston Globe" that Cuba is not a terror threat and thus should be removed from the list of rogue nations.

Let me read part of her column in "The Globe" -- quote -- "The term state sponsor of terrorism means nothing if Cuba is on the list. It simply says we kind of don't like you and we'll find any reason to make it hurt. And over-inclusive one list as we see in the Boston case can be as damaging as under-inclusive one."

Juliette Kayyem joins me from Harvard to talk about this and also Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, an outspoken critic of the Cuban regime.

So, ladies, welcome. Congresswoman, let me begin with you. I just quoted part of Juliette's piece in the globe today. And what are your thoughts on Cuba? Should Cuba stay on this list of terrorism sponsors or not?

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R), FLORIDA: Absolutely. Absolutely. Cuba deserves to be on this list.

As recently as about 1996, Cuba, specifically Fidel and Raul Castro, as leaders of the communist tyrannical regime ordered a shoot down over international air space. And that shoot down resulted in the deaths of three American citizens and one U.S. resident.

They were unarmed. They were not trying to do any ill will toward the Castro regime. This was an act of terrorism that resulted in the deaths of American citizens.

Also, there are many acts that they have been complicit in. For example, they give safe refuge and harbor folks from the Farc, a Columbian organization. I could go -- and a litany of ...

BALDWIN: Let me stop you there. Let me stop you there because you mentioned Farc.

You mentioned Farc specifically, so does Juliette in her column. If I read your column correctly, I want you to jump in, you say you acknowledge, you know, groups like Farc, but at the same time you say this is a list for terrorism against the United States. You say that is a big difference with guerrilla groups like this, yes?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I also separate the past from the present. Part of the reason for the list is not only as a stick to say, which countries we don't like, but also to try to get countries to behave better.

And so my point in the column is, if you look at Cuba today, and the dynamics in Cuba as well as the dynamics in the United States, and overtures the Obama administration is making about Cuba, does it still make sense to have Cuba on the same list as with Iran and Syria?

And my argument is absolutely not. It doesn't for purposes of Cuban-American relations. If we don't like Cuba, there are plenty of sanctions we can put against Cuba separately.

But to use this term terror -- state sponsor of terrorism, and to be honest, to not have other states on it, that, you know ...

BALDWIN: Like Pakistan you point out.

KAYYEM: Pakistan and, look, Libya has been on and off of it, North Korea has been on and off of it, so kun Fridays are coming on and off of it.