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.
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
Cuba and U.S. Negotiate Six New Cooperation Agreements
(Prensa Latina) Cuba and the United States are negotiating six new cooperation agreements in sectors of mutual interest, said Cuban Foreign Ministry official Josefina Vidal after the fourth meeting of the Bilateral Commission on Friday.
The director general of the U.S. Department at the Cuban Foreign Ministry noted the accords cover law enforcement, seismic monitoring, exchange of meteorological information, protected marine areas, search and rescue operations and the response to hydrocarbon spillage in the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida.
These agreements that we are negotiating would be adopted, if possible, before the end of 2016, she noted during a Q&A session on Twitter, a virtual dialogue she had under the tag #AskCubaUS.
Vidal, who on Friday chaired the new meeting of the commission, informed that between October and December, officials from the two countries will pay high-level visits and will hold about a dozen technical meetings.
The bilateral mechanism that was activated a year ago held its fourth meeting on Friday, when both parties reviewed the results of discussions during the previous contact in May. They also analyzed the new steps to move forward in bilateral relations, which were reestablished in July 2015.
According to Vidal, once again, the Cuban delegation noted to its counterpart, headed by the joint secretary for the Western Hemisphere, Mari Carmen Aponte, the need to put an end to U.S. policies that affect rapprochement, like the economic, commercial and financial blockade and the programs aimed at causing internal changes in Cuba.
Wednesday’s first flight US to Cuba
Cuba has officially authorized the first flight of the US airline JetBlue between Florida and Cuba. This Wednesday will start its Go nonstop to Cuba services. The first regular commercial will take off from, Florida and arrive in Santa Clara.
JetBlue will initially operate flights on three routes between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and:
Santa Clara– Abel Santamaría Airport (SNU)
Monday, Wednesday & Friday flights starting August 31, 2016
Daily flights starting October 1, 2016
Camagüey – Ignacio Agramonte Airport (CMW)
Daily flights starting November 3, 2016
Holguín – Frank País Airport (HOG)
Daily flights starting November 10, 2016
AT&T and ETECSA Agree Direct Interconnection Between Cuba and US
AT&T has reached agreements for Cuba roaming and direct interconnection with Empresa De Telecomunicaciones De Cuba (ETECSA). The deal continues to enhance AT&T’s global coverage for customers – the best of any U.S. wireless provider.
“Cuba is a growing international calling destination for our customers,” said Bill Hague, executive vice president, AT&T Global Connection Management. “With this agreement, AT&T customers soon will be able to seamlessly connect with talk, text and data while visiting Cuba.” We will announce commencement of wireless roaming availability and pricing for AT&T customers visiting Cuba at a later date.