U.S. Treasury continues cleanup on Cuba blacklist

Posted: 12-Jun-15 15:34

The sanctions office of the United States Department of Treasury has recently been cleaning up the Cuba blacklist and it has removed 53 entities and five individuals from the list. This is part of an effort on the part of President Barack Obama to normalise relations between Cuba and the USA.

U.S. Treasury continues cleanup on Cuba blacklist

Relations between Cuba and the USA are beginning to thaw now that tourism has opened up between the two countries.

Now the US Treasury's sanctions office has removed five individuals and 53 entities from a narco-terrorist blacklist as it continues its drive to keep the list up-to-date.

Those on the OAFC list, also known as the "Clinton List" are barred from doing business with the United States. The Cuban entities that have been removed from the list include a number of vessels within the tourism, fishing and shipping industries that were based out of Panama.

Since President Obama announced the plan in December to normalise relations between the two countries, the Office of Foreign Assets Control has been involved in the process of removing dozens of names from its Cuba blacklist. All of the deletions that were made on Thursday were part of the ongoing internal review of older Cuba sanctions according to a Treasury spokeswoman. Some of the names on the list needed to be removed, as they were names of people who had passed away or companies that are no longer functional.

Authorities have removed a total of 59 entries from the list, which is more people than were removed in the last five years combined. The people who have been removed from the list have been removed because the associations they have with sanctioned companies are not current anymore. There have also been entities and a vessel that have been removed from the blacklist, because they are not currently operational. By removing these entities from the list, the OFAC is demonstrating that it is committed to reviewing and updating its sanctions list. This will ensure that the list is in line with the policy on Cuba held by the president.

The OFAC is hoping to reduce the burden of compliance by removing any out of date names from the list of sanctions. This will help to reduce the number of false positive matches for names that come up, as well as reduce the delays when processing legal transactions at various financial institutions.

At the moment Cuba itself is still listed by the USA as a "sponsor of terrorism." According to Josefina Vidal, this label should be removed as a priority for improving US-Cuba relations.


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