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Foreign affairs ministry intervenes in PriceSmart issue

Published:Friday | April 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor - Radio

Jamaica's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seeking to broker a resolution of the issues stemming from the decision of PriceSmart Jamaica to suspend the accounts of Cubans working in Jamaica.

Foreign Affairs Minister Senator A.J. Nicholson said his ministry is holding talks with the Cuban Embassy and PriceSmart Jamaica.

He said while the ministry is making no predictions about the outcome of those talks, it is trying to see whether PriceSmart Jamaica could make some accommodation for the Cubans.

PriceSmart Jamaica's general manager, Tara Kisto, had written to a Cuban diplomat indicating that it was forced to suspend the accounts of Cuban Embassy staff and citizens of Cuba resident in Jamaica.

The United States of America government prohibits its parent company, PriceSmart Incorpo-rated, from making sales and transacting business with Cubans who do not have permanent residency in Jamaica or any other country.

On Wednesday, Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, Bernardo Guanche Hernández, labelled the move by PriceSmart Jamaica as criminal and anachronistic.

based on laws

He said the action was based on US laws, which were in contravention of United Nations General Assembly resolutions, which called for an end to the economic, commercial, and financial embargo against Cuba.

The ambassador also stated that the action was a breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, which stipulates that foreign diplomats should be allowed to carry out their duties without fear of persecution from host countries.