Firms fined for breaking U.S. blockade of Cuba

MIAMI.—Three U.S. firms have been fined more than $43,000 for breaking the U.S. blockade, according to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and reported by Notimex.

Myers Industries, one of the largest manufacturers of plastic, rubber and metal products for industry, has agreed to pay a fine of $16,250, according to OFAC’s most recent report, the first of the 2009 fiscal year that began in October.

The firm –based in Akron, Ohio – voluntarily reported the case to the OFAC and admitted that in 2004, one of its foreign subsidiaries sold products to Cuba or to persons related to the island without the necessary license.

Another firm, Priceline.com - an online flight and hotel reservations company – paid $12,250 in fines, while the Intercultural Studies Center in Amherst, Massachusetts handed over $15,000.

Last year, another Internet travel agency, Trevolicity, paid one of the highest fines ever ($182,750) for violating the blockade, while this year Spirit Airlines had to part with $100,000.

It is estimated that during the 2008 fiscal year, the fines imposed by OFAC for infringing the laws of the economic war waged on the Caribbean nation by the U.S. for almost 50 years were in excess of $2 million.

Translated by Granma International

- U.S. blockade obstructing scientific exchange

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