US backs off from banning publication of Cuban articles

Campaign News | Wednesday, 7 April 2004

Office of Foreign Assets Control contradicts its earlier ruling

WASHINGTON April 5: The US government appears to have backed off in its attempt to stop US publishers from printing articles by experts from Cuba, Iran and other states subject to embargoes.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which enforces US trade embargoes against other countries, reached a decision in a case involving the Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers (IIEE), an editorial group that publishes specialized materials.

The OFAC decision "makes it clear that scientific communities in the countries under embargo may publish their work in specialized US magazines," stated OFAC director Richard Newcomb in a statement released on Monday April 5th.

This is in contradiction to an earlier statement from OFAC that declared the editing of articles from Cuba and other embargoed states to be illegal and punishable by fines and even imprisonment.

The US government has been bombarded with complaints from the worldwide scientific and academic community following the announcement.

Many US editors have said they would defy the ban and face the consequences. The threat of a high profile prosecution involving a well-known academic may have been enough to make OFAC change its mind.

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