Last updated: 08:53 AM ET, Fri May 22 2015

Banking Logjam Resolved for Cuba

Destination & Tourism | David Cogswell | May 22, 2015

Banking Logjam Resolved for Cuba

Photo by David Cogswell

The Cuban Interests Section, the entity that provides consular services for the Cuban government in Washington, reported that it has resolved banking issues which have lingered since late 2013.

M&T Bank, which then handled banking and visa services for Cuba and other countries, stopped providing the services on Nov. 25, 2013.

Under the strict rules of the U.S. embargo to Cuba, providing banking services to Cuba has been “complex and not very profitable,” according to Tom Popper, president of InsightCuba.

Since that time, nearly a year and a half, the Cuban government had no banking services in the U.S.

Because certain functions were considered necessary, such as providing visas and maintaining whatever tourism business was allowed under the U.S. government embargo of Cuba, the Cuban Interest Section and the tour operators doing business in Cuba figured out workarounds in order to do business without the conveniences of modern banking. Such workarounds often ended up requiring substantial transactions to be carried out with cash.

But that is all over for now.

As of May 21, according to a statement from the Cuban Interests Section, “U.S. citizens or foreign nationals who reside in the United States and may require consular services will be able to apply for these consular services via travel agencies with a working relationship with the Consular Office of the Cuban Interests Section or directly in this office in Washington D.C.”

For more information, see the Cuban Interests Section website.

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