Cuba Decries Strengthening of US blockade
The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations (Minrex) denounced today the United States has hardened the blockade on the island over the last weeks, using for this action the Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department.
According to the information from the Ministry, on June 28, the OFAC fined one of the most important Italian banks, Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A., compelling it to pay $2,949,030 dollars.
According to the probe carried out by OFAC, the bank handled 53 transfers in favor of Cuba, from 2004 to 2008.
The Cuban government says the extraterritorial application of this sanction is evidence of the impudence with which the United States treats its European partners and sets a negative precedent for other institutions that do business with Cuba.
Besides this, adds the official note, on July 22nd, the OFAC fined once again another company for violating blockade regulations against Cuba, this time with $5,226,120 dollars, the largest sum yet this year.
The victim this time was one of the main tour operator agencies in the US, American Express Travel Related Services Company. This is the second fine in less than one month and the fifth this year, stresses Minrex in an official note published in its digital website.
The OFAC announced this last sanction after concluding a detailed investigation consisting in the US obsession with preventing at all cost that US citizens travel freely to Cuba.
The fine was set off by the alleged sale of 14,487 air tickets to travel to Cuba from third countries, outside from the license given to American Express Travel for the groups of “people to people” travel.
At the same time, the Minrex note says the fines reinforce the extraterritorial application of the blockade on companies for their operations in third countries.
The fundamental objective of this criminal and inhumane policy is to keep on harming and bearing suffering on the Cuban people, concludes the communique.