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Cuba blasts US for 'unjust and illegal' fines against foreign banks

Published: Sunday December 23, 2012 | 12:04 pm Comments 0

The Cuban government has criticized what it describes as the “unjust and illegal” multi-million dollar fines that the United States (US) has imposed on two foreign banks for violating sanctions against the island.

An official Cuban foreign ministry statement said the US actions illustrate that the “ferocious persecution of financial and commercial transactions by Cuba and those with legitimate relations has [not] only changed but has hardened”.

Last week, the British-based HSBC bank agreed to pay US$1.9 billion to the US Government to settle accusations that it laundered drug money through its Mexican and other branches, and violated US economic and trade sanctions against Cuba.

Washington had also said that Japan’s Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ bank agreed to pay US$8.6 million to settle what the Cuban government described as “a supposed violation of the unilateral sanctions of the United States against various countries, including Cuba.”

Under the US economic and trade embargo against Cuba, banks are prohibited from moving Cuban funds through US financial institutions or handle US dollar deposits for Cuban entities or citizens.

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