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Posted December 09, 2004 by publisher in US Embargo

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Jill Treanor | The Guardian

Banco Santander Central Hispano, the Spanish bank which owns Abbey National, has been fined $20,000 (£10,000) by the US authorities for breaching trade sanctions against Cuba.

The fine has been levied against Santander’s bank in Nassau, Bahamas, for a transfer of funds through Cuba in 2001. Information posted on the treasury department’s website showed that the Spanish bank was fined last month.

The US embargo on trading with Cuba has been in place since 1963 and firms and individuals trading with the country must keep records and provide them to the US government. Santander refused to comment on the fine and the US treasury department would not elaborate upon the sketchy details provided on its website. The website indicates that Santander did not voluntarily disclose the transaction.

Thousands of former Abbey National shareholders now own shares in the Spanish bank after the £8bn deal was completed last month despite protests from private investors at the extraordinary meeting called to ratify the takeover. Abbey investors swapped each of their shares for a Santander share plus 31p in cash.

Santander has installed its own top management into Abbey since completing the deal and Abbey’s domestic rivals are now waiting to find out whether it will become a more fierce competitor on the high street.

The US treasury department’s office of foreign assets control is responsible for policing the sanctions against Cuba which are intended to isolate the government.
Santander was fined under the range of civil penalties used by the department, which can levy financial penalties of up to $55,000 for each violation. Criminal penalties for violating the sanctions range from 10 years in prison, $1m in corporate fines and $250,000 in individual fines.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on December 09, 2004 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    The Loooooooooong arm of the law.

    The Bush Administration can reach all the way to Spain.

    “The US embargo on trading with Cuba has been in place since 1963 and firms and individuals trading with the country must keep records and provide them to the US government.” Companies in other countries are supposed to keep books so the US can look at them?

    Is there any wonder why the United States government has a bad reputation around the world?

    How insane is this going to get?

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on December 09, 2004 by art

    Looming consistency question:

    US really wants to buddy up to the new China.  At the same time China wants to assert it’ position in the world, i.e. it will be the number one world power in a couple of decades. 

    So now China has extended the hand to Cuba, large new investments in the last couple of months.  What does the US say to China?

    Funny prospect: Everybody wants to be China’ buddy now that it’ officially on the way up.  What if China penalizes countries and companies who comply with the US embargo, officialy or unofficially?

  3. Follow up post #3 added on December 10, 2004 by alejendro

    To the publisher. It is going to get very much insane!!

  4. Follow up post #4 added on December 10, 2004 by Cubana

    This is quite disgraceful. What right has the US to extend its laws (which should only apply to itself and its citizens) to other countries and companies which are resident in other countries? What is the EU doing about this state of affairs? If I was the chief executive of Banco Santander I would have stuck two fingers up (a rude gesture here in the UK) at the US government. I presume they did not do so because they do business in the US and do not want to upset the US government. Shame on them!

  5. Follow up post #5 added on December 11, 2004 by Ziona with 40 total posts

    But, don’t they (England, Spain, Germany, Cuba, Mexico, Iran, etc. etc. etc.) know that Washington and the Pentagon are the unofficial “Police and Boss of the World”? How dare some other foreign goverment claim sovereignty higher than that of the Empire? And, who is going to stop them and with what? They better listen and obey or else!!!

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