U.S. removes entities linked to Cuba from sanctions list

News from Cuba | Thursday, 26 March 2015

The blockade remains intact and the amendment is in no way related to policy changes recently announced by President Obama

INTERNATIONAL media have disseminated with exaggerated fanfare news about a U.S. Treasury Department routine review of the so-called Specially Designated Nationals List, which is conducted regularly to remove companies and institutions which have disappeared, as well as individuals who have died.

What is the Specially Designated Nationals List?

It is a kind of “undesirables list” including persons, companies and institutions which have functioned in the name of countries subject to U.S. economic sanctions, such as Cuba, with which no individual or incorporated entity under U.S. jurisdiction may conduct economic, commercial or financial transactions. The possessions of those on the list have been confiscated and their bank accounts frozen.

According to published reports, as a result of the most recent review, the Treasury Department removed from the list 45 Cuban or Cuban-linked entities, including 28 companies, 11 boats and six individuals, in their majority linked to tourism. The media outlets which have reported this news have not taken the time to verify if these companies actually exist or if these people are still alive.

Those who may think that this is a decision of important scope, related to changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba, should carefully read what an unidentified source at the Treasury Department said to the AP news agency. The representative specifically stated that the amendment of the list came as a result of an internal review, and is in no way related to policy changes recently announced by President Obama.

What the functionary and the media do not report is that the blockade of Cuba remains in place, continuing to affect more than 11 million Cubans and thousands of companies and institutions. The damage done as a result of its extra-territorial application in other nations continues.

The most recent evidence of this fact is the 1.7 billion dollar fine levied on Germany’s Commerzbank, March 12 - the second largest fine ever imposed by the United States - for violating sanctions on Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Myanmar.

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