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Cuban Embassy to soon address PriceSmart ban

Published:Wednesday | April 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The Embassy of Cuba has indicated that it will be officially addressing the issue surrounding the suspension of PriceSmart Jamaica accounts belonging to staff and residents of the Cuban Embassy and consular offices in Jamaica.

In an emailed response to The Gleaner yesterday, Junior Rodriguez, consul and third secretary at the Embassy of Cuba in Jamaica, said: "I talked with the Cuban ambassador and he transmitted to me that the Embassy of Cuba is going to hold a press conference soon in order to make an official statement regarding this issue."

PriceSmart Jamaica's general manager, Tara Kisto, had written to Rodriguez indicating that they were forced to suspend the accounts as the United States of America government prohibits its parent company, PriceSmart Incorporated, from making sales and transacting business with Cubans who do not have permanent residency in Jamaica or any other country.

In its response to Gleaner queries yesterday, the United States Embassy in St Andrew gave a general response, stating: "US law and regulations generally prohibit all persons subject to US jurisdiction, which includes subsidiaries of US entities wherever located in the world, from engaging in transactions in which Cuba or a Cuban national has an interest."

The US Embassy said unless otherwise authorised by general or specific licence issued by the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, then transactions, including the trading of services, were forbidden between US entities and Cuban nationals or companies.