Financial institutions in the U.S. are still restricted by law from doing business with Cuba. Yet, travel to Cuba has been opened up and limited credit for non-agricultural goods is available.
Due to government sanctions upon third-country transactions in dollars with Cuban entities imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets and Controls, banks in the United States are reluctant to form agreements with Cuban banks to conduct normal business affairs such as credit cards, loans and savings accounts on behalf of customers, either Cuban or U.S.
Illegal interference of U.S. law concerning international commerce and financial relations with Cuba causes a “chilling effect” upon bank officers to exercise their freedom to do business on equal terms with their Cuban counterparts. As a result, transactions by visitors often must be made in cash.
An issue of this nature should be referred to our senators and representatives, who can vote to change Helms-Burton legislation that denies respect for current reality.
It is my opinion that the law violates the intent of the agreement between presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama to resume diplomatic relations, end isolationist policy and eventually restore normal economic conditions with the Cuban people.
Richard Grassl, Pasco