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Impact of the blockade on the foreign sector of the Cuban economy finances

UNITED NATIONS, October 5th, 2016.- After almost two years since the Governments of Cuba and the United States decided to re-establish their diplomatic relations and to begin a process towards the normalization of their ties, there are no substantial changes in the application of the Embargo policy on the National Banking System. There is still persecution and harassment on Cuban monetary assets abroad, as well as the imposition of other obstacles preventing Cuban banks from normally carrying out their international transactions.

At the time of this writing, no banking institution in Cuba had been able to make a financial transaction in U.S. dollars. The state of uncertainty also persists, even for banks in third countries.

Some of the 61 measures imposed against foreign banks, from April 2015 to April 2016, are listed as follows:

-  Cancelling RMA  codes for the SWIFT Messenger  service: 11 entities; out of them 6 European, 2 Latin American and 3 Asian.
-   Holding back funds: 5 banks; out of them 4 in Europe and 1 in North America

-   Refusal to provide bank services: 12 entities; out of them 3 European, 8 Latin American and 1 Asian.

-   The bank accounts of the Campaign of Solidarity with Cuba (CSC) in the UK were closed by the Co-op Bank in November, 2015. In March 2016, it was confirmed such closure was due to the risks derived from sanctions applied by OFAC, after the aforementioned bank was acquired by speculative funds based in the United States.  The CSC wrote to the bank on several occasions, asking for an explanation thereon; the bank referred to changes in its perception of risks as regards Cuba.  Currently Cuba is classified as “high risk” by that bank.  
-   Biocon Limited, a company based in India, has sustained business relations with the CIMAB  since 2004 and has completed several payments for purchases of Cuban products and services. But, since 2014 Biocon is dealing with problems in fulfilling its payment obligations. This is due to the fact that correspondent banks do not accept transactions ordered by the Indian Canara Bank and Yes Bank, claiming that Cuba is on the list of countries sanctioned by OFAC.

(Cubavsbloqueo-Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations)