Some economists write their ideas on how to work the Cuban economy to make it more efficient, always with formulas close to the neoliberalism that has sown so much inequality in Latin America, with capitalist systems that do not suffer a criminal economic, commercial and financial war, as Cuba has suffered for a long time. 60 years.
In recent days, the Central Bank of Cuba reported that as of June 19 it will not accept US dollars, until further notice, due to the sanctions imposed by the U.S. against banks, to prevent all financial transactions with Cuban banks, a reality of the one that those economics scholars who propose idyllic formulas do not speak, without taking into account the financial war designed precisely to make the island’s economy fail.
To those who do not know the truth of the matter and are fooled by what is written on social networks, we provide some information so that they have real elements, about the sanctions that fully justify the measure taken by the Central Bank of Cuba.
In 2002, of the 128 officials that OFAC had, 21 were assigned to control the activities of Cuba and only two were tracking the suspected assets of Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.
Since 2005, the two largest banks in Switzerland, Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) and Credit Suisse , ceased all transactions with Cuba and the services they provided, from current accounts in dollars and Swiss francs to the Cuban banking system, due to threats of US government sanctions.
OFAC, Office of Foreign Assets, since the beginning of 2006 increased the financial harassment of Cuban assets, with the application of heavy fines to foreign banks.
The HSBC Bank of London, in September 2005 decided to close the account in dollars that the Metropolitan Bank had with them. The branch of said bank in Canada did not accept payments for one million Canadian dollars and 819,900 euros, sent through Banco Internacional de Comercio SA (BICSA), due to OFAC regulations.
Nor did it accept in February 2006, a transfer of Canadian $ 15,500 to Cuba.
Natexis Banques Populaires , of France, informed the International Bank of Commerce SA (BICSA), on November 7, 2005, that it was not accepting a letter of credit for $ 903,900, payable in euros.
The Republic Bank , headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, suspended payments that Cuba makes to farmers in the United States for sales to the island.
The Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, of New York, confiscated on February 21, 2006, 330 dollars deposited in the Union National Bank of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in favor of a Cuban citizen, for the payment of the passport application at the Cuban Embassy in Egypt.
Discount Bank in Uruguay, in February 2006, refused to carry out operations with the Argentine company FURBIA INTERNATIONAL SA, for operating with Cuba.
In March 2006, the Jamaican branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia , Canada, closed the account in US dollars held by the Cuban Embassy in Jamaica.
A bank transfer of 2,154 euros, made by the NEDBANK (Namibian-South African Bank) on behalf of the Cuban company PESPORT, of the Ministry of the Fishing Industry, was withheld by a North American bank.
During the first half of 2006, Cuba was unable to pay its fees to two international organizations based in Geneva: the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), due to the refusal of the Swiss Bank UBS , which welcomes the accounts of both international organizations, to receive transfers from Cuba.
In 2005 OFAC informed the US Congress that it had frozen 268 million 300 thousand Cuban dollars, deposited in North American banks, as a result of the blockade.
For economics wise men and those fools who are misled by their academic theories, they should know that OFAC permanently threatens foreign banks with sanctions, which can reach 10 years in prison, fines of up to one million usd, in the case of corporations and 250 thousand usd to individuals. They also contemplate civil penalties up to 55 thousand usd and the confiscation of properties, boats, funds, securities and documents involved in a violation of the Trade with the Enemy Act.
The Italian bank Intensa Sanpaolo, was fined by OFAC with almost three million dollars, for making 53 transfers to the island between 2004 and 2008.
It also sanctioned the travel operator American Express Travel Related Services Company with $ 5.2 million for selling 14,400 air tickets to travel to Cuba.
During the first six years of the Barack Obama Administration, 2009-2017, financial persecution was relentless against European banks for their operations with Cuba, with unprecedented fines.
Official data from the Treasury Department show that OFAC imposed in that period 56 fines amounting to 14,396,396,357,471 dollars.
OFAC imposed a record fine of 8,834 million dollars in July 2014 on the largest French bank, BNP Paribas, for violating sanctions against Cuba. As a collateral penalty, said bank was unable to carry out operations in dollars for a year, in the oil and gas sector.
Faced with this threat, the Bank of Ireland immediately communicated to its clients, with commercial interests in Cuba, that it would not process any more transactions from or to the island.
On August 30, 2014, the Spanish bank BBVA in Panama, suspended all transfers in Euros to Cuba.
The French bank Credit Agricole, agreed on October 20, 2015, to pay OFAC 787.3 million dollars for the fine imposed when executing financial operations with Cuba.
The German bank Commerzbank , paid in March 2015, 1,196 million euros to the United States, for having carried out transactions with Cuban companies.
OFAC sanctioned the American Honda Finance Corporation on June 8, 2017 , with USD 87,255, for approving 13 car leasing agreements between the Cuban embassy in Canada and a Honda dealer in Ottawa.
In October 2018, OFAC imposed a fine of $ 5,263,117 on the bank JP MORGAN CHASE .
On November 19, the French banking-financial entity Société Générale SA, paid the OFAC 1,340 million 231,916.05 usd, for processing 796 transactions involving Cuba.
The German company AppliChem GmbH , paid the OFAC on February 14, 2019, 5 million 512 thousand 564 dollars, for 304 violations of the Regulations for the Control of Cuban Assets.
On April 9, 2019, Standard Chartered Bank of England was fined by OFAC and on April 11 British companies Acteon Group Ltd . and 2h Offshore, had to pay the fine imposed by OFAC, amounting to 227 thousand 500 and 213 thousand 866 usd, respectively.
The same actions suffered on April 15, the companies UniCredit Bank Austria and the Italian UniCredit Bank SpA, which paid in fines to OFAC, 553 million 380 thousand 759 dollars, 20 million 326 thousand 340 dollars and 37 million 316 thousand 322 dollars. On June 13, the US companies Expedia Group Inc, Hotelbeds Usa Inc. and Cubasphere Inc. , Also paid high fines for alleged violations of the regulations for the Control of Cuban Assets.
1st. In October, the General Electric company paid OFAC $ 2,718,581 for 289 apparent violations.
Days later, the Chicago-based Allianz Global Risks Us Insurance Company paid 170,535 usd and Chubb Limited, based in Switzerland, 66,212 usd, as an arrangement with OFAC, to avoid a civil lawsuit.
The OFAC reported on December 9, 2019, the application of sanctions against the companies Allianz Global Risks Us Insurance Company, based in the United States and Chubb Limited , in Switzerland, for 170,535 and 66,212 dollars, respectively. The measures were due to apparent violations of the Regulations for the Control of Cuban Assets, for carrying out transactions and other operations related to travel insurance to Cuba.
OFAC amended in September 2019, the Regulations for the Control of Cuban Assets, for the implementation of the Presidential Memorandum of National Security, of June 2017 of President Trump, regarding the Strengthening of the United States Policy towards Cuba.
Among those changes are certain adjustments related to remittances to Cuba and the elimination of the authorization for specific financial transactions, known as “U-turn” transactions, which allow US banking institutions to process fund transfers that begin and end outside of Cuba. USA.
Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury Department, was precise when stating:
“We are taking additional measures to financially isolate the Cuban regime. The United States holds the Cuban regime responsible for oppressing the Cuban people and supporting other dictatorships in the region, such as the illegitimate Maduro regime. With these amendments to the regulations, the Treasury Department denies Cuba’s access to foreign currency and we are stopping the bad behavior of the Cuban government as part of our support for the Cuban people, who have suffered years ”.
On May 6, 2020, OFAC announced an arrangement with the entity Biomin America , receiving 257 thousand 862 usd, to avoid a civil lawsuit, due to apparent violations of the Regulations for the Control of Cuban Assets.
Another sanctioned entity was Havana International Bank, Ltd. , based in London, to exert more pressure on the financial situation of the Cuban State.
OFAC announced on July 8, 2020, that it had reached a settlement of $ 134,523, to avoid a civil lawsuit, with the American company Amazon Inc. , For accepting and processing orders on its websites, for located persons or employees by foreign missions of Cuba.
The 1st. October 2020, OFAC made public the payment agreement for 5 million 864 thousand 860 usd, with the registered travel services company Generali Global Assistance, Inc (GGA), to avoid a civil lawsuit over its relations with Cuba.
In January 2021, before the presidential handover to Joe Biden, OFAC included the Cuban financial institution Fincimex, an intermediary for family remittances to Cuba , on its blacklist . For this reason, the French bank Crédit Mutuel stopped services to Fincimex , affecting the flow of remittances to Cuba. The company American International Services (AIS), which facilitated the sending of these remittances, was also affected .
Given that Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State stated:
The new sanction on Cuba is part of an escalation of pressure on the island, before President Donald Trump cedes power on January 20 to the president-elect.
What country in the world could survive in the face of such a ruthless war? Is it the Cuban economy that has to change its socialist course?
Only Cuba, with its brave and brave citizens, stoically resists the empire’s attacks and its defamatory campaigns, because as José Martí rightly pointed out:
“There is no crown like that of fortitude in adversity.”