Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Days ago, the U.S. Department of the Treasury presented a report to Congress about the frozen funds of four countries (Iran, Sudan, Syria and Cuba) --all arbitrarily labeled by the State Department and included in the list of States Sponsoring Terrorist Acts, and because of this, also included among the organizations and people affected by sanctions from the US government. In Cuba’s case, the report mentions the accumulated value of the frozen funds as reaching 248.1 million dollars by the end of 2010 and 245 million dollars by the end of 2011.
Granma presented the information and by mistake added both amounts mechanically reporting the total amount of frozen funds as reaching 493 million dollars when in reality it reached 245 million dollars by the end of 2011. Thus, we made the due correction. And yet, it remains true that the frozen funds which belonged to the Cuban government no longer exist, they have been stolen.
For many years now, assets and goods belonging to Cuban residents in our country or in other countries, and to Cuban nationals and to nationals of other states, and to Cuban corporations and to foreign corporations, have been victimized by the laws and regulations of the blockade, they have become victims of this economic and financial war against our country.
It started in July 8th 1963, when the Department of the Treasury created the so called Regulations for the Control of Cuban Actives, or the regulations for the blockade, freezing all Cuban actives in the United States. The frozen Cuban actives included from properties and bank accounts belonging to the Cuban state and to Cuban entities and natural persons to transfers made to Cuba by entities and natural foreign persons –including prizes in coins to Cuban citizens obtained internationally or in sport competitions or received as inheritance. And although it was illegal to touch those funds, in the mid 90s they started to be attacked and assets and properties of the Cuban state and Cuban corporations were taken by the unilateral decision of the US government, or in connection to rulings made by Florida tribunals against Cuba and because of anti-Cuban laws approved by the US Congress. Thus, between 1996 and 2006 the Cuban state suffered important takeovers of funds that together amounted to 170 million dollars.
The first takeover took place on October 2nd, 1996 when President William Clinton ordered the Secretary of the Department of the Treasury to remove 1.2 million dollars from the Cuban frozen funds to be given to family members of some pilots from the Terrorist organization “Hermanos al Rescate” –brought down while repeatedly violating Cuban air space on February 24th 1996.
The second took place on February 12th 2001, following an order by president Clinton dated January 19, 2001, by which the Director of the Office for the Foreign Actives Control instructed the Chase Manhattan Bank to transfer close to 97 million dollars from two frozen accounts belonging to EMTELCUBA, to indemnify the family of the above mentioned pilots of the terrorist organization “Hermanos al Rescate.” This theft was facilitated by the then senator Connie Mack who, acting in the service of the Cuban mafia in South Florida, who managed the approval of the Protection to Victims of Trafficking and Violence Law in which one aside includes the execution of fraudulent judicial rulings against the frozen funds of the Cuban state.
Then, on April 29, 2005 President Bush decided that the Department of the Treasury would provide 198 thousand dollars of the Cuban funds to Ana Margarita Martínez, a Cuban citizen residing in Miami who had in 2001 obtained a favorable ruling in a Miami Court regarding unproven charges of torture and sexual aggression by an allegedly Cuban agent infiltrating a terrorist group who had been married to her.
This last story, like the two before, were publicized and Granma published an article on January 15th 2007 reminding us how in 2002 and 2003 the Bush Administration facilitated the appropriation of Cuban assets to Ana Margarita when the Department of the Treasury authorized the public auction of three Cuban airplanes hostages using a judicial order –an airplane AN-2 was auctioned in November 11, 2002, followed by a DC-3 in March 2003 and 12 days later in March too, an airplane AN-24 was also auctioned. That is, the US government allowed this to take place.
Finally, on November 27th 2006, following the ruling of the federal judge of New York, JP Morgan Chase transferred 72 million dollars to the families of Anderson MacCarthy and Ray Weininger to satisfy the rulings against the Republic of Cuba, emerging from fraudulent demands made against legitimate measures taken by the Cuban government on defense of its territory and against Thomas Willard Ray and Howard F Anderson who were acting on behalf of the US government during the beginning years of the Revolution.
Willard was an American pilot and agent of the CIA, he was said to have been executed on April 19th 1961 but in truth he died in action when his B-26 was brought down during the invasion of Giron Beach (Bay of Pigs). During 18 years the Institute of Medicine of Cuba kept his body because Washington hid his identity and denied that he was an American citizen or that they had any responsibility for the aggression --exactly as it happened with the other group of American pilots who were part of the mercenary brigade 2506 under CIA orders.
Anderson was captured weeks after the invasion and when working at the service of the American government in Cuba. He belonged to an armed group of ex military of Batista’s dictatorship who was used to bring 8 tons of military armaments into our country to further terrorist actions and sabotage. He was the link of the CIA with the contra-revolutionary organizations in Cuba. He was captured, judged in April 1961 and condemned to capital punishment.
The frozen funds of the Cuban state and entities in American Banks are, because of these takeovers, practically non-existent. The majority of the actives that continue to be blocked belong mainly to Cuban citizens and entities and to foreign persons. The hostile politics of the American government against Cuba, including the more than 50 years of blockade, the arbitrary designation of the Cuban state as one harboring or favouring international terrorism and the many manipulations to promote legal actions against Cuba, as a way of ending the frozen funds, are but a few of the ways in which the most powerful nation of the world, with complicity from its judiciary, legislative and executive powers, acts against a small nation like Cuba.
OSCAR SÁNCHEZ SERRA firstname.lastname@example.org