Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Odds and ends

  • “Military exercises fail to rouse Cubans:” A Wikileaked cable from USINT Havana, December 2009.

  • Tracey Eaton digs up a government document that lists payments to consultants to Radio and TV Marti from 2003 to 2010. Penultimos Dias sifted through its 800-plus pages and lists some of the consultants.

  • A statement from the Archdiocese of Havana says it “has not received from the Cuban government any notification referring to the end of [the prisoner release] process.” It referred to a Spanish foreign ministry statement (linked here) saying the process had ended.

  • Your tax dollars at work: Café Fuerte, following Treasury Department sanctions activity, reports a $22,500 fine imposed on the MetLife insurance company for sending a check for a death benefit directly to a beneficiary in Cuba. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s description of the case is here. The penalty seems absurd because only the payment method, not the payment itself, violated OFAC rules. OFAC explains: “Upon the receipt of the notice, MetLife stopped payment and deposited the death benefit payment into a blocked account. The funds were subsequently transferred to a bank for distribution to the beneficiary.”

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