US Makes it Harder for Cubans to Send Money Home

Por Circles Robinson

Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – The Trump administration ordered Monday a new broadside against Cuban families, further hindering remittances from the US. The candidate for reelection makes no waves about hurting ordinary Cubans when tightening the screws on the Havana government.

For decades, the US embargo has sought to get Cubans to cry uncle and rebel against their government, blaming it for hard times. It hasn’t worked. The Castros and their Communist Party have remained in power for 61 years and running.

The anti-Castro activists in Miami see the hardline as a reason to campaign for Trump. Most analysts believe that in hotly contested Florida, such is the real interest behind the sanctions. It has little to do with a commitment for democracy or any type of progress for the Cuban people.

Cuban Army businesses targeted

The Cuban company punished by the measure is American International Serivces (AIS) and takes effect on Tuesday, September 29th.  The US says AIS is under the Cuban Army, the target of numerous previous sanctions.

The Miami Herald newspaper reported: “Fincimex, the company in the military conglomerate GAESA that controls the remittance business, uses AIS, a company registered in Panama, to send remittances in dollars to the island from the United States. Clients can request a card for their relatives in Cuba and make dollar deposits through Miami-based agencies such as Cubamax and VaCuba. Relatives on the island collect the cards, and use them to buy at government dollar stores recently opened.

“Fincimex was included in the list of restricted entities in June. As a consequence, the French bank Credit Mutuel paralyzed the services to Fincimex. Dollar remittances through U.S. agencies were also temporarily suspended. But Fincimex seems to have found a banking solution because on Monday the option to request AIS cards on the Cubamax website was still available and working.”

The new blow to a large minority of Cubans comes amid the pandemic lockdown and severe shortages of basic foods. As of tomorrow, it will be harder for relatives to send money home to assure their family’s survival.

Read more news and commentary from Cuba here.

9 thoughts on “US Makes it Harder for Cubans to Send Money Home

  • The longer Cubans living outside Cuba continue subsidizing Cubans with money and food, the longer it will take for Cuba to make a change. Obama said while visiting Cuba, that Cubans have the system they want. When they want something different, they will make the change. Giving an alcoholic a daily drink does not help him. It only enables him. The do gooders are only enabling Cubans from making a change from their stupid dysfunctional gov. They need another revolution. One that has meaning. 98% of the 10 1/2 million Cubans want change. They have the numbers if they have the will. If they don’t, they will have to live with the results. Stop sending food & money.

  • Curt, although you proclaim that you are not “defending” the Castro dictatorship, your comments seem to lay blame exclusively on the US. Cubans are poor and dependent upon remittances from Cubans who live abroad because of Cuban policy. There is no embargo against Haiti and yet they share the economic problems that Cubans suffer from. They are also governed by a corrupt and poorly managed leadership. Your feigned objectivity is a sham unless you are willing to see the whole picture and call out the Castros as readily as you seem willing to blame the US.

  • As one living (prior to Covid) at home in Cuba, I agree with Curt, that from the time that it was announced that Obama was to visit Cuba, until one week after his visit in March 2016, Cubans were optimistic and happy that change – which they thought could only be for the better – would occur.

    Such optimism was promptly dashed by the letter supposedly written by Fidel Castro – who was declining both physically and mentally – but obviously by Raul Castro, and published in ‘Granma’ and read in full on Mesa Redondo on March 28. Resignation to returning to the norm, sank in with that reality and the optimism ended.

    The Castro regime is opposed to change, being mentally locked in to 19th century Marxist thinking, as interpreted by Josef Stalin.

    Although not averse to Curt’s description of Donald Trump. it was Raul Castro who destroyed the optimism, or as Curt so eloquently put it, “all turned to s–t” Trump merely tightened the screws with Rubio’s encouragement.

    One dilemma for the Miami Cubans, is that many have invested substantial sums in property in Mirimar and Siboney, and the monies which they can legally transfer to Cuba have been seriously reduced.

  • Olgasintameles, you should try some tameles out here in Oakland. They are really good. I’m not defending the Cuban government. I am strongly criticizing Trump for putting Scumarquito Rubio, a certified nutcase, in charge of the Cuban policy. “Make Marco Happy!” said the orange POS to the State Department. Those MFs are still acting like morons, because that policy hasn’t worked in over 60 years. I went to Cuba during the summer of 2016 and I saw more optimism and happiness from the Cuban people than I have ever seen. It all turned to s—t when That Orange Scumbag took over,

  • I have lost respect for those Floridians who prefer to reelect a vindictive corrupt pathological liar who milks the system so that he pays no federal taxes… I guess they must long for Fidel in some ways because they are just rooting for a Fidel wannabe.. Trump. Remember, he loves Kim of NK, Respects admires Putin and other autocrats, , This is why Kurdish CHristians fled for their lives, Trumpm is not only in Putińs pocket but Turkey´s leader also.. this is why Trump released the ¨hounds¨on Kurdish to horror of the Christian world.

  • As Cuban anything That would make the dictatorship agonize seems very good to me. I have families in Cuba. I want to see Cuba back to democracy and the Cuba ppl happy with the benefits of the civilized society free press, free markets, freedom of reunions and associations, and respect for humans right. I’m not just a tourist who hate USA and going to Cuba for sex and mojitos.

  • Notable that Western Union, by far the dominant method to transmit funds from the US to Cubans, remains unchanged by the Trump administration. WU remains the simplest, cheapest, fastest way of any not only in the US but abroad as well. While the Trump administration imposed a cap of $1,000 per quarter, it is so easily bypassed that it is laughable. The one downside to WU is that the recipient receives CUC instead of foreign currency that can be used in a MLC shop.

    This current action is no more than a meaningless last minute window dressing just before the election.

    None of my comment is intended to be a defense of the Trump administration but just pointing out reality.

  • The heartless orange scumbag is putting these new sanctions in because he had no intention of picking one of their own, Barbara Lagoa for the Supreme Court. He is giving hardline Miami Cubans a consolation prize, by starving the Cuban people who still live on the island.

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