US Froze $253 Million in Cuban Assets in 2012

Wilfredo Cancio Isla (Café Fuerte)

treasuryHAVANA TIMES — According to an official US government report, the United States froze US $253 million in Cuban assets in the course of 2012, the second highest figure among countries currently sanctioned as sponsors of terrorism.

The annual report on assets confiscated from terrorist states and organizations (TAR-2012), which the Treasury Department presented to Congress this year, indicated a 3 percent increase with respect to the figure reported the previous year (US $245 million), a number still well below the nearly 2 billion dollars in Iranian assets confiscated in the course of the year.

The total amount of funds frozen from States or organizations considered to be involved in terrorist activities in 2012 was US $2.2928 billion.

Al Qaida: the hardest hit

The remainder of the money confiscated from nations labeled as “terrorist” by the U.S. State Department belongs to Syria (US $77.7 million) and Sudan (US $25.6 million). The figures are cumulative and refer to the span of one year.

The largest sums confiscated from terrorist organizations by U.S. federal authorities during this period belonged to Al Qaida (US $13,161,630), the Lebanese organization Hezbollah (US $6,762,636) and Palestine’s Hamas (US $1,203,578).

The report was submitted by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the close of last month.

The 34-page document reports that U.S. authorities also continue to hold six properties in New York and Washington owned by the Cuban State, presumably destined to the country’s diplomatic and consular services.

Report Number 21

Cuba was included in the list of nations that sponsor terrorism in the U.S. State Department’s most recent Country Reports on Terrorism, made public last week. The Cuban government called the gesture a “shameful label” and a “discredited maneuver” which continues to be practiced to justify the embargo imposed on the country.

“It is also intended to please a dwindling anti-Cuba minority that desperately insists on supporting a policy that is no longer sustainable and does not even represent the legitimate national interests of the United States, the majority of Americans and Cuban émigrés living in the country,” Cuba’s Foreign Ministry (MINREX) declaration stated.

ofacThis year, the report, which began to be submitted to Congress in 1993, was presented for the twenty-first time. Cuba began to be included in the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 1982.

Cuba has not revealed the location or the amount of money confiscated by the United States out of fear of lawsuits by U.S. citizens, which have been pursued before federal courts in recent years. Lawsuits seeking monetary compensation to be drawn from the Cuban government’s frozen assets currently meet with difficulties in terms of determining what U.S. banks are holding the funds.

Over five thousand lawsuits

Only three main accounts holding Cuban funds are currently known: three at the JP Morgan Chase Bank (formerly Chase Manhattan Bank), one at the National Bank of Cuba (BNC, now the Central  Bank of Cuba) and two at the Cuban Telecommunications Company (EMTELCUBA).

Cuba currently faces 5,911 lawsuits brought forth by corporations and individuals in connection with the confiscation of properties and other assets on the island after 1959, together seeking a compensation sum of nearly 7 billion dollars.

The assets are frozen under regulations for the control of Cuban assets established in 1963, when the total withheld was only $30 million. Since the OFAC does not have physical control over the assets frozen, TAR figures are based on numbers provided by different U.S. financial institutions.

A significant percentage of the funds accumulated in the course of the last decades arise from long-distance telephone calls to Cuba, while several million are accumulated yearly from inheritances from deceased U.S. citizens or residents who have heirs on the island.

7 thoughts on “US Froze $253 Million in Cuban Assets in 2012

  • I have a dream, Moses. It is that the Left will discard the fraudulent state monopoly maximum program of Marxism, develop a corrected vision, and win the US people to the idea that real socialism is a cooperative republic.

    When I speak about a program of compensations for those Cubans who have lost property due to the socialist revolution in Cuba, it is based partly on a sincere respect for private property rights. This is something the Marxists simply cannot understand . . . as yet.

    My struggle in this period is very difficult. We are microscopic, and you are not the only person who tries th humiliate us because of it. But if our concept of socialism is correct, we believe the future is bright.

    Even someone like you might reconsider your ideas regarding socialism, and join us. Stranger things have happened. Cheers.

  • Think what you wish.

  • You are a piece of work Grady. Who the heck is “we” in the “we are trying to build”? You realize we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to Cubans who had their property stolen. Unless you have someone named Trump bamboozled into believing your Transformationary Cooperative Socialist claptrap, you are tilting at windmills my friend. The Havana Hilton, is an example, of a former “US-owned asset”. Today, as the Havana Libre, it was taken by the Castros without compensation to the Hilton hotel chain. Still, as ridiculous as your plans seem, at least you are trying to invent another way for Cuba. It is clear that the Castro plan didn’t work.

  • You live in a fantasy world, Grady. You aren’t really building anything other than castles in the air.

  • Why does it always seem, Griffin, that you are a defense attorney for US monopoly-capitalism? Inquiring minds want to know.

    As a matter of fact, one point in the maximum program of the cooperative republican party we are trying to build, is to compensate retroactively those Cubans whose property has been seized by the socialist regime. But it’s mainly to heal old wounds, and bring the genius of all Cubans to bear on the problems and opportunities of the future.

    As far as “US owned assets” goes, that’s an entirely different matter, and is as yet unresolved in our minds.

  • Do you also condemn the seizure of US owned assets in Cuba by the Cuban government? Do you also condemn the seizure of private property owned by Cubans by the Cuban government?

  • If any progressive US citizens out there have any further illusions about the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party, perhaps this freezing of Cuban assets will have some impact.

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