Trump administration tightens Cuba blockade with remittance crackdown
The Morning Star | Tuesday, 29 September 2020 | Click here for original article
THE Donald Trump administration is cracking down on remittances to Cuba in a tightening of Washington’s illegal blockade of the country.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has added American International Services, a debit card issued by Cuban company Fincimex, to the restricted list, making it illegal to conduct financial transactions with it.
Fincimex is a Cuban state company that processes remittances from Cubans abroad. Mr Pompeo claimed that the profits “disproportionately benefit the Cuban military ... funding Cuba’s meddling in Venezuela.” The US describes Cuban medical workers in Venezuela as troops.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the move “is a manoeuvre aimed at damaging the Cuban people and the family ties between both nations.”
The US had already sanctioned Fincimex in June, and the harsher restrictions come within a week of a new ban on US travellers bringing back cigars or rum from the island or staying in public-sector hotels there.
Cuba Solidarity Campaign director Rob Miller told the Morning Star: “The latest round of US aggressions come in the build-up to the presidential elections, when Trump is desperately trying everything to court the hard-line Cuban-American vote in the key state of Florida.
“Restricting families from sending remittances from the US to the island has been a key element of the blockade for decades. The illegal and genocidal policy has always been about trying to strangle the Cuban people, in an effort to force regime change and return Cuba into the jaws of US domination.”