U.S. continues Cuba sanctions cleanup

Banco Metropolitano, in Havana

Banco Metropolitano, in Havana

HAVANA, Nov. 19th The U.S. removed more people from its sanctions list, lifting measures from, among others, executives of banks serving Cuba and an Italian firm that provided goods to Iran’s petrochemical sector.

Among those no longer under U.S. sanctions, according to a notice posted on the U.S. Department of Treasury’s website, are Miguel Lopez and Jose Julio Rodriguez, both of whom were listed as chairmen of Havana International Bank.
Now known as Havin Bank Ltd., the London-based financial institution provides wholesale banking services for the Cuban market, according to its website. Several other Havana International Bank executive and managing directors also were removed Thursday from the U.S. blacklist.

All of the Cuba sanctions removals made Thursday came as part of an ongoing internal review by Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control of older Cuban sanctions cases, a Treasury spokeswoman said while noting they had all been targeted prior to 1995.

“OFAC hopes to reduce the compliance burden on the public by removing out-of-date names from the [blacklist] where appropriate, which will in turn reduce the number of potential false name matches and expedite processing of lawful transactions at financial institutions,” she said.

The U.S. also lifted sanctions from Dettin SpA, an Italian firm targeted in August 2014by the U.S. Department of State for allegedly providing Iran’s petrochemical industrywith goods and services worth more than $250,000. A spokesman for the State Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Update: A State Department spokesman said the company applied for removal on the basis that it’s no longer engaging in the activity that led to its designation. “This is a routine step taken in response to a petition by the company,” he said.