The US Treasury Department announced that the financial firm American Express Company (Amex) will pay a fine of $ 204 277 for the alleged violation of the blockade imposed on Cuba.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that this sanction is related to the possible liability of the Belgian company BCC Corporate S.A. (BCCC) in apparent infractions to the Regulations of Control of Cuban Assets.
As the text clarifies, BCCC is a company that issues credit cards and corporate services to customers based in Europe. “At the time of the apparent violations, BCCC was a subsidiary of the Alpha Card Group, which in turn was 50% owned by Amex, a United States financial institution.”
According to the OFAC, Amex agreed to remit the 204 277 dollars to settle a possible civil liability in the matter.
The office of the Treasury Department reported that from April 9, 2009 to February 3, 2014, the credit cards that BCCC had issued to its corporate clients were used to make purchases in Cuba.
Most transactions between the United States, or persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction, and Cuba continue to be prohibited, and OFAC continues to enforce the prohibitions of the CACR. Specifically, OFAC is issuing changes to: restrict persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction from engaging in direct financial transactions with entities and subentities identified on the State Department’s Cuba Restricted List and Subentities Associated with Cuba, with certain exceptions; add requirements to certain categories of educational travel; remove the authorization for individual people-to-people educational travel; add requirements to the travel authorization Support for the Cuban People.
The Spanish hotel chain Meliá reinforces its presence in Cuba.
According to official sources, Meliá will begin to manage next year eight new hotels in the cities of Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Camagüey
In Cienfuegos, Meliá agreed with Gran Caribe to manage Hotel San Carlos, and hotel Union, one of the oldest in Cuba. In addition, the hotel complex Jagua, which includes the Hotel Jagua, the Blue Palace, La Perla and Casa Verde, will be managed by INNSIDE by Meliá, the investment aims to equip the facilities with Meliá’s brand standards.
The Sol House brand by Meliá will manage and renovate the Hotel Ancón in Trinidad, it has also been agreed with the Cubanacán Group to build a new hotel on the Ancón peninsula.
In Camagüey, the Spanish chain in cooperation with Islazul will manage three hotels, two of them in the historic center, the Gran Hotel, and Hotel Colón. The Hotel Camagüey will also be managed by INNSIDE by Meliá.
Meliá, the largest investor in the hotel industry in Cuba has twenty-eight hotels in the Island; in Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Largo, Cayo Santa María, Holguín, Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Varadero.
Kempinski opens first modern five-star luxury hotel in Cuba
Kempinski Hotels has signed a management contract with the Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA. The Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group will open its first property The Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana in Cuba in the second quarter of this year.
We are very pleased to be opening this outstanding hotel in the spring,” says Markus Semer, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Kempinski Hotels. “The opening is a continuation of our pioneering spirit as the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana will be Cuba’s first modern luxury five-star hotel. And its location within a famous historic building currently makes it the most exclusive hotel project in Old Havana.”
For us, it is important to gain new partners who are internationally renowned, to manage our hotels, for this reason Kempinski was selected to take care of our new hotel in Havana,” adds Carlos M. Latuff, Executive President Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA. “With its impeccable 120-year history, European-style luxury and extraordinary quality, Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group Kempinski is a perfect fit with the Manzana de Gómez. Constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, as Cuba’s first European-style shopping arcade, it is an iconic building in an important historical area. Together with Kempinski we will make this jewel the city’s leading luxury hotel.
Cuban business delegation visits the United States
According to a press release from the Cuban Embassy in Washington the visit is intended to exchange on business opportunities and foreign investment between the business sectors of both countries and to promote the existing prospects in the maritime-port sector in Cuba, particularly, in the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM)
During their stay in the United States, the Cuban business representatives will have a wide-ranging program of activities that includes visits to 6 US ports and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Port Administration of Cuba and the ports of Florida and Alabama. The Cuban delegation will also hold meetings with leaders of the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Association of Port Authorities and will exchange views with congressional representatives, state authorities and members of the US business community from different sectors.
US congressman Mark Sanford, The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Bill
Havana: International Business Fair (FIHAV 2016)
The 34th edition of the largest international business fair in Havana (FIHAV 2016) has been scheduled from October 31 to November 4. The event will contribute not only to promote Cuban exports, but also it aims to attract foreign capital.
Among the side events, the celebration of the First Investment Forum which will take place during 1st and 2nd of November which includes the Business Portfolio 2016, as well as bilateral meetings between Cuban and foreign investors. In addition, a panel of experts will inform about the opportunities the Cuban market offers.
According to the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, the priority sectors are tourism, renewable energy, agriculture and the Special Economic Development Zone of Mariel (ZEDM). In the field of exports beyond traditional elements such as cigars and rum, medical and pharmaceutical services are now the primary goods for export.
FIHAV 2016, advertised as the best of its kind in the Cuban capital. 75 countries has been confirmed its participation, as well as the representation of 325 national companies.