Extraterritorial nature of the blockade has an impact on Cuba’s banking and financial relations with third countries

Oct 18, 2018 by

REPUBLIC OF CUBA
Permanent Mission to the United Nations
315 Lexington Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10016

Press release
Extraterritorial nature of the blockade has an impact on Cuba’s banking and financial relations with third countries

 New York, October 18, 2018. From the second semester of 2017, the blockade has had a negative and unprecedented impact on the Caribbean nation, especially on the banking and financial area. Although the enactment of the Helms-Burton Act and the extraterritorial nature of the blockade determined the creation of “antidote legislation” designed by third countries to protect themselves against possible damages caused by the implementation of this policy, the intimidating effect of the blockade against Cuba has prevented these regulations from being properly implemented.

There are several recent examples of commercial operations of Cuba with companies from third countries, whose implementation has been hampered or prevented by US government’s prohibitions, threats and blackmail:

On June 29, 2017, the branch of Stanbic Bank in Zimbabwe (part of the Standard Bank Group, based in South Africa) announced the closure of the accounts of the Cuban Embassy in that country and the end of any transactions related to Cuba, following instructions from its correspondent banks Deutsche Bank (Germany) and UniCredit Bank (Italy), for reasons related to the US blockade against Cuba.

On July 20, 2017, a branch of BNP PARIBAS FORTIS S.A. bank in Belgium refused to issue a bank guarantee certifying normal commercial activity and the absence of debts, in favor of the Belgian company R.I.P.I. SPRL, because it would be used for commercial activities in Cuba.
In November 2017, the OFAC levied a fine of 204,277 dollars on the financial firm American Express Company (Amex) for violating the laws of the blockade against Cuba. This sanction was imposed because the Belgian company BCC Corporate S.A. (BCCC), a subsidiary of Alpha Card Group, which has 50 percent ownership by Amex, issued credit cards to customers in Europe, that were used to make purchases in Cuba.

On February 6, 2018, the US Company Stripe canceled the accounts of all its clients that had ties with Cuba, due to new measures adopted by the US government against our country.

On February 13, 2018, the New Zealand bank ASB rejected a transfer from a citizen of that country to a travel agency, for using the word Cuba in the transaction reference.

On February 13, 2018, the) Qatari bank International Bank of Qatar (IBQ refused to make a transfer from a Cuban citizen residing in that country for reasons related to the US blockade against Cuba.

On March 9, 2018, the Jamaican bank First Caribbean International Bank, a branch in Jamaica of the Canadian bank Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, set up road blocks to the installation of the credit and debit card payment system required by the Embassy of Cuban fearing of being sanctioned for violating the regulations of the blockade.

Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations

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