For years, Cuba’s socialist Castro dictatorship has been making millions of dollars skimming off the remittances sent by Cuban exiles to their family members on the island. That is about to end.
Trump administration will ban remittances to Cuba through military companies
The United States government will prohibit remittances to Cuba through companies controlled by the Cuban military, which would effectively cut money transfers to Cuba until companies like Western Union and the Cuban government work out a way around the new measures.
According to a draft of the new Treasury Department’s rules to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, the existing general authorization for remittances in the embargo regulations will exclude “any transactions involving entities or subentities identified on the Cuba Restricted List.” U.S. citizens and companies are prohibited from conducting financial transactions with these entities.
The list, which is kept and updated by the State Department, includes companies linked to the Cuban military like AIS and its parent company, Fincimex, which processes almost half of remittances to Cuba and is the exclusive representative of Western Union on the island.
Western Union said it was trying to get more “clarity” about the proposed regulations, which will take effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Fincimex is a subsidiary of GAESA, a larger conglomerate of companies controlled by Raul Castro´s former son-in-law, general Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja, who was recently sanctioned by the U.S. government.
U.S. officials have said that the string of sanctions against the Cuban military aims to force the Cuban government to push them out of the remittance business and cut the funds flowing to Cuban security agencies accused of human rights violations both in Cuba and in Venezuela.
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