14ymedio, Havana, July 31, 2020 – The delivery to Cuba of remittances in dollars sent from the United States, which had begun through the agencies Cubamax and VaCuba, is now paralyzed. On Thursday, el Nuevo Herald reported that the French bank Crédit Mutuel, for fear of possible sanctions by Washington, stopped service to Fincimex, the financial arm of the Cuban army, which controls these deliveries.
“Crédit Mutuel closed its doors to Havanatur, Cubapack and American International Service,” said one the Nuevo Herald’s sources, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals. “They tried to get other banks to take this business, but none wanted to for fear of the sanctions. What’s sad is that the people in Cuba need dollars, and it deprives their families of sending support to them.”
Western Union, which will continue sending remittances to the Island, denied on Wednesday, however, that it is sending dollars. The addressee in Cuba will continue to receive the money in CUCs (Cuban convertible pesos), which are losing value day after day in the informal market and are not accepted in the new hard currency stores.
The closing of the French bank accounts also hurts other Cuban Government businesses, like the sending of packages from the U.S. through Cubapack, and individuals traveling to the Island. One of the sources cited by the Miami newspaper said that charter flight agencies cannot pay Havanatur due to the closing of the accounts.
On June 3, The U.S. Department of State included Fincimex on the “black list” of Cuban entities with which Americans are prohibited from doing business. In its press release, the Department notes that these “subentitites”, as it calls them, “disproportionally benefit the dictatorship of the Castros”, which it accuses of using “the profits from these businesses to oppress the Cuban people and finance its interference in Venezuela”.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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