Cuban Bank Based in London Punished by US

Havin Bank LTD, the London-based Cuban bank now under US Treasury Department sanctions.

HAVANA TIMES – The United States announced sanctions on Thursday against Havin Bank LTD, a London-based Cuban entity also known as Havana International Bank, dealing a blow to the Cuban financial system, reported

The Treasury Department said it had placed the bank on its Office of Foreign Assets Control list of entities which US citizens and institutions can have no dealings with, with stiff fines for violators.

Havin Bank has been in operation since 1973, and is the only bank with entirely Cuban capital outside the island. Its principal shareholder is the Central Bank of Cuba.

The bank has a network of 400 correspondents around the world that provide banking services for the Cuban market.

The repercussions of the US sanction will be forthcoming when the different banking and trade companies evaluate their vulnerability.

The sanctions come just as the island’s Communist Party government has allowed the US currency to circulate, permitting some state stores to sell food and other basic products for dollars. It recently eliminated a 10 per cent tax on cash dollar transactions that had been in effect since 2004.

With the US presidential elections less than a hundred days away, Donald Trump continues to let Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez (New Jersey) guide his Cuba policy.

Step by step he is reversing an opening with Cuba initiated by former president Barack Obama*, hardening a trade embargo in effect since 1962. 

In doing so, the Trump administration has cited human rights violations by Cuba and Havana’s support for the socialist government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

[*Editors Note: Obama’s overtures to Cuba were sharply rejected by Fidel Castro who said he was just trying a new method to overthrow their revolution. Brother Raul Castro, then the president, and the rest of the Communist Party apparatus followed suit, attacking Obama at all levels. Now they have Donald Trump to deal with.]

11 thoughts on “Cuban Bank Based in London Punished by US

  • Nick,
    You are completely out of touch with what’s going on in Cuba. And that will be the only thing that I tell you. Everyone is suffering, I hear it from my family that live there, they jail you for saying “patria o Vida “ (translated: homeland or life). Cuban govt has no regard for simple human rights nor do they value anyone who has a different opinion.

    Why don’t you stay in Cuba now after the pandemic? I heard it’s an amazing vacation spot especially now since it’s sunny and they have everything you can even get vaccinated.

  • Yes Nick, it was one-sided. Castro sought to use nuclear weapons against the US population. The reverse did not apply. For some odd reason you obviously consider that history is irrelevant and should be forgotten in this instance.

    How willing are you to dismiss the Monroe Doctrine and the Treaty of Paris as “bygone events” although one occurred almost two hundred years ago, and the second almost one hundred and twenty years ago?

  • Mr MacD, It’s good to hear that although 60 years have passed, you have managed to retain the ability to dish out an entirely one sided re-telling of those bygones events.

  • Your first sentence Nick is your customary disclaimer – but is readily discarded as irrelevant by your subsequent comments.

    I was particularly interested in your comment regarding the right to “self determination” in regard to Cuba.
    Sixty one years have elapsed under the Castro dictatorship, without the people of Cuba being permitted the opportunity for self determination. In Cuba, “sovereignty” equates with dictatorship.

    Geographically, it is possible to describe Cuba as being in the backyard of the US, just as the US is in the backyard of Canada, and England in the backyard of Scotland.

    For the US however, the concerns about a nuclear armed enemy being in their backyard were undeniably justified. Fidel Castro had determined to become a satellite state for the USSR and urged the use of a nuclear first strike against the US. The two countries are by definition enemies, and an endeavor to change that by the US in 2016, was firmly rejected by the hostile response of the Castro regime.

    Certainly the history of the US in regard to Cuba, is as I have previously written, deplorable, but that does not justify Castro’s declared wish! US concerns were fully justified.

    The Western Allies including the UK (whether under socialist or conservative governments) were similarly threatened by the nuclear power of the USSR – with Khrushchev’s famous utterance “we will put you in the ground” translated to “we will bury you”.

  • I’m neither defending Cuba nor attacking the USA. I have spent much time in both countries and am aware of the good and bad points of each.
    Regarding Cuba, I would be critical of many aspects but would defend the right to sovereignty and self determination. As I have said, changes are needed but for the betterment of Cuba and Cubans. Not at the behest of the region’s perennial bully boys.
    Regarding the USA, it is one of my favourite countries in the world but I would also be critical of many aspects. The aspect most relevant here is foreign policy. More specifically the policy of treating Latin America and the Caribbean as it’s ‘back yard’. Regarding Cuba, the USA actively tries to manipulate other countries and businesses into adherence its imperialism and this has been the case for decades. This is a squalid anachronism which looks pitiful in the eyes of the more rational parts of the world.
    Exceptionalism? Exceptional?
    Describing torture as ‘enhanced interrogation’ is an exceptionally slippery, greaseball use of the English language. This would also be an example of one particular aspect that I would be critical of.

  • The US is exceptional in many ways. That sentence may rub some people the wrong way but it doesn’t make it any less true. I was an “A” student throughout grade school. I was disliked by a few kids (who didn’t know me) simply because of the high marks that I consistently received. No matter how many friends I made or how well I treated others, there were just some folks who always had a problem with me. I got over it by Jr. High school. My point about American exceptionalism is similar. As an African American male, no one better than me can detail just how f#cked up the US can be. But defending Cuba by attacking the United States and criticizing the fact that the US does indeed do well in many things is a weak and unconvincing defense. Denying Cuban citizens basic democratic freedoms places Cuba on the bottom. There is no other way to look at it.

  • Mr Patterson regularly proves my point.
    He has previously stated his belief that the USA is inherently more exceptional than other countries. How can anyone who is so brazenly nationalistic and who believes in the innate superiority of those of his nationality over the rest of the human race make any claim to the moral high ground???

    Moral high ground ??
    Dream on……..

  • Even Satan himself has the moral space to criticize the Castro dictatorship. The US for all its many faults, especially in the Trump era, still holds the high ground over Cuba. In the US, dissent is alive and well. Despite Trump’s best (or worst) efforts to suppress opposition, those who reject his authoritarian policies remain able to to go to the streets in protest. The failed Castro regime does not allow opposition voices to openly protest. On this virtue alone, the US remains morally superior to the government of Cuba.

  • But the bank was placed on the OFAC list years ago under its previous name. Does that mean that the sanctions weren’t having effect because it had changed its name ? Or does that mean that the latest change is not imposing any new sanctions ?

    By the way, the article is wrong to state the the Cuban government is allowing USD to circulate. The new shops only accept cards. All that can be done with USD is deposit them in a bank – which could be done before as well.

  • The ‘editorial assessment’ refers to just one side of the story. Weirdly there seems to be an an unseemly whiff of U.S. exceptionalism or its innate right to rule beyond it’s borders.
    The USA likes to flex it’s muscle in terms of trying to manipulate the activities and policies of other countries and private businesses.
    The USA is absolutely not any kind of arbiter when it comes to recognising rights and wrongs. There is an absurd and totally outdated U.S. presumption of occupying some kind of moral high ground. I’m afraid that when it comes to moral high ground the USA frequently fails to reach base camp. Many put forward the view that the worst human rights abuses on the Island of Cuba recently have been carried out by U.S. torturers at their Guantanamo base.
    Cuba needs to make changes for it’s own sake and for the good of Cubans.
    It does not need to do so at the behest of the USA or at the behest of scurrilous and desperate individuals such as trump or Rubio.

  • Good and correct editorial assessment. Opportunity rejected, rather like Arafat at the Camp David meeting.

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