Cuba Criticizes Europe for Leaving US Embargo Unchecked

July 4, 2014 | Print Print |

bnpHAVANA TIMES – The Cuban government has condemned the record fine that the United States applied on the French bank BNP Paribas for conducting transactions with the island and criticized European laws for being powerless before the US embargo on Cuba, DPA reported.

On Monday, US authorities applied a record fine of nearly 9 billion dollars (6.6 billion euros) on BNP Paribas for doing business with Cuba, Iran and Sudan, in violation of commercial sanctions imposed on these countries by Washington.

The United States justified the sanction invoking the fact the bank also operates on US soil. Reportedly, BNP Paribas has conducted transactions with Cuban entities for a total of some 1.7 billion dollars.

The fine “violates international law and is an extraterritorial and illegal application of US legislation on a foreign company,” Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared yesterday in a note published the official newspaper Granma.

“One could ask (…) what use Europe’s regulations and laws have when they cannot be used to protect (European) sovereignty and national interests and those of the entities affected by such arbitrary measures,” the note added.

Cuba also accused Barack Obama of “outdoing all of his predecessors” in the White House in terms of sanctions related to the embargo Washington has been applying on Cuba for more than fifty years.

The Obama administration has accumulated “fines applied on hundreds of different entities that together exceed the sum of 11 billion dollars,” Cuba’s Foreign Ministry declared.

Washington applies fines on US and foreign companies or entities operating in the United States that violate embargo regulations and maintain any kind of commercial dealings with Cuba.

The sanction imposed on BNP Paribas is the largest ever applied on a foreign entity operating on US soil. The sum is greater than the French bank’s profits for all of last year.

The fine is “a strong message to any institution anywhere in the world, that does business with the United States, that illegal conduct will simply not be tolerated,” said Attorney General Eric Holder on announcing the fine in Washington on Monday.

BNP Paribas later declared itself guilty of having infringed on embargo legislation to avoid more serious consequences.


What's your opinion?

  • Moses Patterson

    The issue here is whether or not Obama is willing to defend the sovereignty of the United States. If our Congress has determined that it is in the best interests of the country to deny access to business opportunities in the US to those companies who choose to do business with our enemies, the President must enforce these laws. BNP Paribas had a choice. They could continue to do business with Cuba, Sudan and Iran and reject the US Attorney General’s offer or accept his offer, agree to pay the fine and return to the good graces of the American people. They obviously made the right business decision.

    • emagicmtman

      The laws, of course, are enforced selectively (thus encouraging more contempt for them). OFAC has not prosecuted “non-licensed” tourists to Cuba since 2006, or even earlier. They simply don’t have the $$$ in their budget for such prosecutions. Of course if you try to bring in a case of Cuban cigars, it might be a different matter. Still, the lengths the U.S. goes to to enforce the embargo, as far as commercial activities are concerned, is ridiculous–and for what?! To curry favor with a bunch Miami dynosaurs and neo-cons who vote Repuglincan anyway?! Just goes to show that both Repugs and Dems. are controlled by some of the same interests. Most folks don’t have the $$$ to spread around like the neo-con think tanks, defense contractors, security agencies, etc. etc., hence, there voices won’t be heard, and they are effectively shut out of irevising policies. This is o.k,, however, as such alienation and disaffection continues to grow.

  • Analyser

    I wonder if this childish, infantile and petty behaviour displayed by the Nation of intimidation and paranoia? The Us of A of course. Time and time again, it is either threatening to impose sanctions on Countries, impose embargos or dictate to others how they should conduct themselves. Time to take a rain check, have a look in the mirror and grow up. God forbid, the Yanks might elect yet another George Dubya!!!

    • Moses Patterson

      Please read my last comment to ‘glen roberts’. It fits you like a glove.

  • glen roberts

    The “Trading-With-The-Enemy” act from way back just before the U.S. officially entered WWII, the law on which all unreasonable U.S. behavior toward Cuba has been based, specifies an enemy with which the U.S. is actually at war. Though the U.S. is always at war with someone, Cuba doesn’t qualify. In fact, neither does Iran or Sudan. But Obama is a far-from-reluctant warrior president who, like most of his presidential predecessors, doesn’t read or speak the English language well enough to know when he is wrong. The “good graces of the American people” have absolutely nothing to do with this. Neither does the word “sovereignty,” except in the context of Obama’s delusion that he is the “leader of the free world,” an office to which he was never elected and wouldn’t be elected if there ever was such an election. -iammyownreporter.com

    • Moses Patterson

      Particularly on this day, the 4th of July, is must really chap your hide that despite your anti-US biases, the US continues to lead the free world. Harvard Law Review is not known for electing as its President law students who don’t read or speak English well. But I am sure since you are likely to be far better educated than this President, you must have overlooked that part of his resume. In the ‘hood we call people who think like you ‘Haters’.

      • Terry Downey

        Ideologically speaking, Canada is the true leader of the free world, and not because we possess enough armaments to blow up the world several times over. Canada possess a policy of tolerance and cooperation, and both our government and our people are respected everywhere on the planet. Waving a big stick doesn’t buy you respect, and it certainly doesn’t give you free license to ignore world opinion. I don’t hate the American people…to the contrary, I feel sorry for them because they are being held hostage to a government mentality of repression, both abroad, and at home. The US is a waring nation…they need to be always at war with someone. That mentality is packaged as propaganda and spoon fed to the American people daily as their “responsibility to the free world”…costing them billions, and collectively distorting their moral compass. There is a time and place for confrontation…no doubt. But in the case of Cuba, that time has long passed. Continuing US policy toward Cuba is now viewed by the world as nothing more than cruelty, and absolutely nothing to be proud of.

      • John Goodrich

        Define “anti-US” as it applies to glen roberts’ criticisms.
        You meant to say U.S. GOVERNMENT didn’t you ?
        Define “free world ” as well .
        I am assuming by “free world” you mean the capitalist world .
        The only reason you’d go into the “hood’ is to throw hand grenades at the poor in your own version of the “War on Poverty”.
        You use the word haters to evade dealing with the valid criticisms you call “hating” .
        You’re so transparent .

        • Moses Patterson

          First, can you answer my question of several posts ago. Please name ONE credible source that agrees with your ridiculously narrow definition of communism. I posted a Harvard University definition which you blithely agreed with yet it lacks the ‘bottom-up’ anarchist characteristic you seem to love to add to your definition. Is there anyone other than the voice in your head that agrees with you. By the way, I am from the ‘hood. I got out by education and hard work but make no mistake, I go back all the time. If for no other reason than to get my hair cut and to get good barbecue.