Red Bull Fined for Filming in Cuba

Red-Bull-580x326HAVANA TIMES — The Red Bull North America beverage company was fined US $89,775 on Friday for having filmed a documentary in Cuba, in violation of the more than half century embargo Washington maintains against the island, reports Granma newspaper.

The US and its Office of Foreign Assets Control routinely fines financial, banking and commercial companies found to be trading in one way or another with Cuba.

In early May the American International Group (AIG) Corporation was forced to pay a fine of 279,000 for having commercial ties with Cuba.

Days before the travel agency based in Argentina agreed to pay a fine of 2.8 million dollars for carrying out transactions that supposedly violated the US embargo on Cuba.

For 22 consecutive years the UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution urging the US to drop its embargo, but the non-binding vote, nearly unanimous in recent years, has fallen on deaf ears.

6 thoughts on “Red Bull Fined for Filming in Cuba

  • I wonder how the US government feels about the brewery giant, Anheuser-Busch and their business connection with Cuba?

    Anheuser-Busch merged with the Brazilian-Belgian brewery conglomerate, AB-InBev. AB-InBev also owns a majority interest in the Canadian brewery, Labatts. Labatts operates a brewery in Holguin, Cuba which produces Bucanero and Crystal brands of beer.

    Does this not constitute a form of investment or capital flow from Anheuser-Busch to Cuba? If so what has the US government not fined Anheuser-Busch and AV-InBev?

  • One of the reasons why Canada votes against the embargo is because the Canadian mining firm, Sherritt International, which operates the Moa nickel mine in Cuba, happens to make generous contributions to both leading political parties. It would also be unpopular with the average voter to cut off the access to one of Canada’s favourite vacation destinations.

    These cynical considerations have nothing to do with concern for the Cuba people.

  • US/Cuban policy is unique in that the Cuban immigrant community is disproportionately influential in the policy-making process in Washington. Given the political reality that exists in Congress, it is not practical for pro-Castro supporters to expect the US to reverse 50+ years of anti-Castro sentiments without some concessions toward democracy made by the Castro dictatorship. The Red Bull sanction is a minor and unsurprising reflection of the Obama administration’s lawful obligation to enforce Federal law. It is ironic that when the Obama administration has opted not to enforce certain laws which are problematic, his opposition rushes to criticize him. When he enforces the law, he is also criticized. The Castro propaganda machine has artfully used the embargo to deflect attention from their own incompetence. On balance, the embargo has helped to curtail the extraterritorial spread of Castro-style tyranny by limiting the economic resources available to the regime. Even as the whipping boy for all that ails Cuba, the embargo remains the right policy for confronting Castro despotism and limiting the resources the Castros would use to repress the Cuban people.

  • The US is used successfully by the Castro regime as a tool to prove to Cubans that the US is the BIG BAD WOLF. It is counter-productive to US interests both in Cuba and elsewhere – as demonstrated by vote att the United Nations where the US managed to garner only one supporter for their policy – that of Israel. Israel’s position is understandable as the Castro regime supported Bashar Asad’s Syria by supplying 500 tank drivers for the Yum Kippur war – which Israel won. But the US position appears to other 182 countries including US allies – UK, France, Germany and Canada to be that of vindictiveness towards a small nation. The sooner the US abandons the embargo and closes Gitmo – as promised by President Obama, the better. To fine US companies for the reasons given in the article does little to commend “the home of the free.”

  • I wonder is this was about the advertising film Red Bull shot about their sponsored cliff diving competition off the Morro Castle in Havana. The actual event appears to be in conformity with US OFAC regs, being a sporting event.

    The $90K fine is by far the smallest levied by OFAC in many years.

    Red Bull seems to be excellent at promoting events such as this, then creating great film of the event which gets viewed internationally, thus putting the product name constantly out there in front of the purchasing public.

    The actual film is available on numerous sources on the web, including YouTube.

    Red Bull is available everywhere in Cuba but is 4 CUC a can.

  • The US embargo is silly and counter-productive, helping to keep the Castro regime in power. Whatt happened to the “home of tthe free”? Publicity like that described only assists the regime in Cuba to paint the US as the BIG BAD WOLF.

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