Press Release. Fine Impositions to Entities Commercializing with Cuba, as part of the Blockade Policy.
New York, May 9.- While Cuba shows the world its development in the field of tourism at the International Tourism Tradeshow FIT 2014, dedicated to France this year, the United States shows once again its eagerness to prevent or inhibit any progress in such an important sector for the Cuban economy.
Despegar.com, a travel agency based in Argentina, agreed to pay a fine of $ 2.8 million USD for transactions that allegedly violate the economic and commercial blockade imposed on Cuba, right after the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of Treasury revealed this Tuesday that a Delaware’s branch agreed to pay $2 809 800 dollars for operations that involved Cuba’s or Cuban citizen’s interests in the period 2009 – 2012.
According to the information, the agency – also known in Brazil as Decolar.com – rendered services to 17 834 people who bought airline tickets or made hotel bookings for stays in Cuba or in third countries without proper OFAC’s authorization.
Such alleged violations would have occurred from May 2, 2009 to March 31, 2012 and amounted to $ 4 460 000 USD.
This is the second tourism agency based outside the United States, which is fined by the Department of Treasury in the last month. By mid-April, the Dutch company Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) had to pay a penalty of $ 5.9 million for providing services related to travels to Cuba to over 44 400 clients from 2009 to 2012.
During Barack Obama’s administration, banking institutions have been the target of the most severe controls and most of the fines issued by the Department of Treasury related to violations to the embargo against Cuba.