First American Bank, protesta

Miami: Exiles protest in front of the bank that handles the regime’s accounts in the US

MIAMI, United States. – Dozens of Cuban exiles protested this Wednesday in Miami in front of a branch of First American Bank, the US banking entity that “is facilitating financial operations for the communist regime in Cuba,” said the organizers of the protest, according to a report from the EFE agency.

“One of the ways we have to support our people is that the financial institutions of the free world do not provide [al régimen de la Isla] the repression by financing or facilitating its transactions,” Orlando Gutiérrez-Boronat, coordinator of the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance, told EFE.

“The people of Cuba are on a national strike, demonstrating almost every day on the island against the regime that oppresses them,” Gutiérrez-Boronat added during the demonstration.

Cuban exiles present at the protest also assured that First American Bank should feel sorry for supporting a communist regime like the one in Cuba.

In a statement, the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance also called on international banks to establish “a financial moratorium by democratic countries on the communist regime in Cuba, until the Cuban people achieve their freedom and rights.”

“The First American Bank is facilitating financial operations for the communist regime in Cuba. No financial institution of a democratic country should facilitate financial operations to a bloodthirsty regime, which represses the people and also supports Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” the statement reads.

“As we are seeing, every day the Cuban people increase their protests against the communist regime, in search of their freedom, throughout the length and breadth of Cuba. We will not be indifferent to this, ”he adds.

First American Bank is a bank with Cuban roots that began managing the bank accounts of the Island’s Embassy in Washington DC and the Cuban mission at the United Nations in New York, according to John Kavulich, president of the US Economic and Trade Council. .-Cuba, cited by the miami herald.

According to Kavulich, First American expanded its presence in South Florida after acquiring Miami’s Continental Bank in 2019.

According to a recent note from herald, Continental Bank was the first bank owned by Cuban-Americans in the United States. It was founded in 1974 by Carlos Dascal, exiled from Cuba after the coming to power of Fidel Castro.

First American Bank acquired the accounts of the Cuban officials after Centennial Bank, which had been handling the operations of the regime’s diplomatic staff in the US, “severed all commercial relations” with Havana for its support of Russia during the invasion. to Ukraine, said the miami herald.

Centennial Bank had provided its services to the Cuban embassy and mission since 2017 through Stonegate Bank, which had a special license from the Treasury Department to manage Cuban accounts since 2015.

Due to the embargo, financial transactions involving Cuba generally have to go through another bank in a third country. Although the Obama administration authorized US banks and companies to open accounts in Cuba for transactions within the framework of the law, it did not allow Cuban entities to do the same in the United States, recalled the miami herald.

For its part, the Biden administration is working on regulations to implement the policy changes. announced in Mayincluding expanding electronic payments and increasing support for US business activities with independent Cuban entrepreneurs.

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