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.]

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

  • 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.

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