Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The following is reprinted from Granma International.

On December 11, 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) responsible for implementing the ironclad economic, commercial and financial blockade maintained against the Cuban people by the government of the United States, announced the imposition of a $375 million fine on HSBC Holdings (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation), based in London, for the alleged violation of U.S. unilateral sanctions on various countries, including Cuba.

The following day, December 12, OFAC announced a $8,571,634 fine of the Japanese bank Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, for processing financial transfers involving a group of countries, among them Cuba, and violating U.S. economic sanctions regimes.

The implementation of these unjust and illegal penalties demonstrates that the policy of vicious persecution by the United States of Cuban financial and commercial transactions and of those countries which have legitimate relations with our country, protected by international law, not only remains unchanged, but has intensified.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns these new extraterritorial implementations of the U.S. blockade regulations against Cuba, which have taken place less than a month after the UN General Assembly once again demanded, virtually unanimously, an end to this cruel policy, rejected at the international level and, increasingly, by broad sectors of U.S. society, which are demanding a new focus in terms of the policy toward Cuba.

Havana, December 20, 2012.