Cuban Embassy shut out

The more than 50-year-old United States economic embargo on Cuba is creating problems for its embassy in Barbados, with one membership-shopping outlet refusing to do business with diplomats there.

Cuban Ambassador to Barbados Lissette Perez told Barbados TODAY that Price Smart had banned the sale of goods to the embassy, and even Cuban nationals in Barbados. In an interview at her Edghill Heights, St Thomas office today, she revealed that last January the embassy had received official correspondence from club manager of Price Smart Barbados Inc., Terry Mahon, indicating that as a subsidiary of a United States company, it could not transact business with citizens of Cuba “who do not have permanent residency here or possibly another country”.

Cuba Ambassador Lissette Perez
Cuba Ambassador Lissette Perez

“In an effort to comply with US laws, we are suspending those accounts which may not be permitted by the laws enacted in the USA,” Mahon’s letter added.

When contacted by Barbados TODAY, Mahon declined to say any more than what he had communicated to the Cuban Embassy in the letter. The decision follows on the heels of a similar move by PriceSmart in Jamaica and similar measures taken in recent months against Cuban embassies in different Caribbean and Central American countries. Perez said a ban had also been implemented on the embassy’s relations with the local commercial              banking system.

Two years ago, the Bank of Nova Scotia in Barbados also “suspended and prohibited all financial transactions from Barbados to Havana, including those made by Barbadian official institutions and Cuban residents in Barbados,” she said.

“This prohibition means that the embassy cannot engage in money transfers through the local commercial banking sector. Under these circumstances, the operations of embassy remain hamstrung. We cannot access US currency, which is seen as an international currency. We are forced to use other currencies,” Perez lamented.

The Cuban Embassay has insisted, that it will not abandon its cooperation and assistance with other countries, especially the Caribbean, with which it shares a proud common history, destiny and challenges.

The United States cut off relations and imposed a trade embargo with communist Cuba on February 7, 2012. The embargo consists of economic sanctions against Cuba and restrictions on Cuban travel and commerce for all people and companies under United States jurisdiction.

Perez said the situation was a demonstration of how the American government “extra-territorially implements the provisions of its economic, commercial and financial blockade against the Cuban people”.

Questioning the United States position on Cuba’s political system, the ambassador noted that even though China remained a communist country, the United States engaged in open trade with that  Asian country.

9 Responses to Cuban Embassy shut out

  1. orlando April 23, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Long Live Cuban Revolution. The so called “embargo” *a recognzed genocide by the UN bodies. But the embargo will be defeated sooner than later.

  2. Olutoye Walrond April 23, 2014 at 8:26 am

    So all of this is happening under the happy watch of the great hero of African Americans and African people in the CAribbean and the rest of the world – Barack Obama?
    Seems like some of us took a six for a nine.

  3. Bobby April 23, 2014 at 8:35 am

    The position by the United States Government in its continuing embargo against Cuba has reached the stage of hysteria.

    Cuba is not and has never been a military threat to the United States and therefore the United States’ most recent actions against Cuba are meant to reduce the standard of living of the Cuban people.

    But what makes this recent position by the United States reprehensible is that the United States imposed an embargo in Cuba in 1961 because it was a Communist country using Communism for its rationale. But the United States carries on massive business in Communist China and Communist Vietnam. The double standards of the United States, even under the supposedly progressive Government of Barrack Obama, is to be condemned. The Governments of the Caribbean should take a stand on this matter.

  4. roly April 23, 2014 at 9:17 am

    so? don’t they (the cuban government) hate the “capitalism world” and what they call the “empire” when they refer to America? go and buy cuban goods instead of spending your money in your enemies. Stupse

    • orlando April 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Dear Mr. Roly:

      you´ve got be clear the US is not “America”, because We are all America but not in the same concept as they (the Us elites) have been managing since the so called “Monroe Doctrine” some centuries ago. (hope it sounds familiar for you).
      Just in case let me tell you are also American.
      Can you imagine a country (a powerful one) decide to block Barbados just because they do not like the way you are.?
      Come on Mr. Roly…………

  5. orlando hernandez April 23, 2014 at 10:20 am

    History, only history explains today´s events. Back in 1804 the US President expressed his conviction that Cuba sould be part of the Union. (155 years before the Cuban Revollution and 122 before Castro was born). Seems like “our” Nobel Prize acts like the “genuine heir” of this spirit. Weak up guys!

  6. Khalid Batson April 23, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Articles like this one demonstrate the almost perennial need of US power to spread its “democracy” its political and economic agenda by any and every means necessary. It also displays a concerning level of hypocrisy, through the United States’ manipulation of markets forces and trade (Price Smart) in creating problems for countries, particularly those of the south, that have chosen different and more suitable ways of organizing their politics and economies. So much for the “Free Trade” they claim to value so much. The fact that US political agenda is being carried out so seamlessly within our supposedly sovereign island, I think is another point of concern. Altogether though, the article displays the general bias and hypocrisy the US and other western powers have maintained against other countries that have defined their freedom for themselves (Venezuela, Bolivia), and still there is much need for ‘democracy” in the international arena. As for Obama, he really is no different, more of the same.

  7. Babs April 23, 2014 at 12:54 pm


    You don’t know anything about the international law. What US government is doing through this instruction to Pricemart is only a small example of the violation of the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and disrespect for the repeated resolutions of the UN General Assembly that since 1992 have demanded that the U.S. government end the absurd and reinforced blockade imposed on Cuba for over half a century. The last resolution was supported by 188 member nations.

    You have to read also the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 particularly Article 25 which states: “The receiving State shall accord full facilities for the performance of the functions of the missions.”

    The blockade is aggressively extraterritorial and a violation of international law that transgresses the sovereignty of all States.

  8. David Denny April 24, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Cuban Barbadian Friendship Association and the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration.

    This action by the Government of the USA is a political invasion on the Caribbean and a move to disrespect the governments and people of our region. The Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, Cuban Barbadian Friendship Association and progressive in Barbados call on our Caribbean Governments to demand respect from the Government of the USA and to stop the enforcement of this USA act in our region.

    Our movement and the people of Barbados demand that Pricemart respect the Laws of Barbados and the rights of the Cuban people living in Barbados.

    Barbados is not a state or a colony of the USA and our government and people must never allow the USA to enforce its laws on Barbados because today it will be Cubans and tomorrow it will be Barbadians.

    Let us defend the Cuban Revolution.

    David Denny
    General Secretary
    Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration

    Cuban Barbadian Friendship Association


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