Western Union Closed for Cuba Remittances until April

The Metropolitan Bank made a statement on Tuesday about the suspension of remittance services, but without any details. (14ymedio)

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – Western Union plans to resume the remittance service to Cuba on April 1. That is the date they gave to 14ymedio in calls to two offices in the United States. The employees did not know how to answer why it will take so many months to restore the transfers. “There are problems with the banks in Cuba, and that has caused us to stop sending money; they are still working to solve the problems,” they said.

The Metropolitan Bank made public on Tuesday a statement that alludes to the suspension of remittance services, but without details. “If you have been sent money (from abroad) through a remittance agency, we suggest you contact Fincimex, an agency that manages that service in Cuba,” reads the short text disseminated on their social networks.

Last Thursday, the same banking institution warned of “technical difficulties that affect branch services and those associated with technological payment channels,” without referring to transfers from abroad.

These cannot be done, as this newspaper verified, at least as of January 29, although some comments on the bank’s Facebook post this Tuesday allude to the impossibility of doing them earlier.

On Wednesday the 31st, a day before the main economic measures agreed by the Government last December came into force, the authorities decided to cancel them. The reason given was “a cybersecurity incident in computer systems for the selling of fuel, whose origin has been identified in a virus from abroad.”

The widespread suspicion about the hacking, which, according to official sources, has affected the marketing system of Cimex, a corporation belonging to the Gaesa military conglomerate, increased among Cubans when the Minister of Economy, Alejandro Gil Fernández, was dismissed last Friday.

Although at Western Union they provide a clear date to normalize remittances, the same does not happen with Fincimex. By telephone, an employee of the state financial system told this newspaper that “work is still being done on the breakdown but there is nothing yet.”

Translated by Regina Anavy for Translating Cuba

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