Obama Won’t Lift Cuba Embargo, by Carlos Latuff
On Barack Obama’s watch, a total of 49 fines have been imposed on US and foreign entities for violating the US Embargo against Cuba, based on a recent review of the records of the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Dispite both countries re-establishing diplomatic relations over a year ago, after more than half a century without embassies, Washington’s economic, financial and commercial siege against the small Caribbean island nation, is still very much in force.
Even since the announcement of December 17, 2014, when the process of normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States began, eight entities have been fined (5 American and 3 foreign). The cumulative value of fines imposed amounts to $2,836,681,581, (almost 3 bullion USD). These fines have had a marked chilling effect on early interest from banks in particular seeking to gain a foothold in Cuba.
The intimidating effect on the banking and corporate sector is palpable in Ireland and across Europe where even humanitarian NGO’s bank accounts continue to be banned from operating.
The entities that have been fined by the United States since 17 December 2014, for violating the US Embargo are listed as follows:
- Commerzbank, Germany: $1,710,000,000
- PayPal, United States: $7,658,300
- Navigators Insurance Co., United States: $271,815
- Crédit Agricole, France: $1,116,893,585
- Gil Tours Travel, Inc., United States: $43,875
- WATG Holdings, Inc., United States: $140,000
- CGG Services S.A., France: $614,250
- Halliburton, United States: $304,706
Undoubtedly, the Blockade of Cuba persists. It harms the Cuban people (as it was designed to do) and intimidates legitimate commercial organisations all around the world that wish to carry on entirely legal trade with Cuba.
It amounts to a global extortion racket of a scale and reach that the mafia can only dream of.