HomeNewsBriefWhat's Behind US Removal of Cuban Entities from Blacklist?
BRIEF

What's Behind US Removal of Cuban Entities from Blacklist?

CUBA / 25 MAR 2015 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

The US Treasury Department's removal of multiple Cuban entities from a narco-terrorist blacklist, during a time of thawing US-Cuba relations, raises the question of whether the process of keeping the list up-to-date could be made more efficient. 

In a government press release, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the removal of 28 Cuba companies, 11 boats and six individuals from its list of entities linked to terrorism and drug trafficking. 

The OFAC list, also known as the Clinton List, prohibits individuals and organizations from doing business with the United States. The Cuban entities removed from the list included shipping, fishing and tourism companies and vessels, many of which were based out of Panama.

The recent removals were part of an ongoing review of older Cuban cases. "These targets no longer meet the criteria for designation," a US Treasury Department spokesperson said in comments e-mailed to InSight Crime. Removing Cuban entities from the OFAC list was "not related to the recent changes to [the United State's] Cuba sanctions program," but instead aimed at increasing efficiency and decreasing the chance of false name matches with lawful entities, the same spokesperson said. 

Cuba itself is still listed by the United States as a sponsor of terrorism. Cuba's chief negotiator with the United States, Josefina Vidal, has called the removal of this label a priority for improving US-Cuba relations. 

InSight Crime Analysis

It is hard not to see the cleaning up of the OFAC list when it comes to Cuban companies as related to the improved relations between the two countries. As the Wall Street Journal highlighted, more companies and individuals were taken off the OFAC list in 2015 than in the past five years combined.

The timing of this clean-up also raises the question of how much the list remains in need of additional updates, and whether these updates can be done more quickly and efficiently.  Notably, one Cuban tourism company that was removed from the list -- Travel Service Inc. -- was forcibly dissolved in 1981, information that could be found in Florida's corporate database. Another individual who was taken off the list, Cuban Army Major Amado Padron Trujillo, was executed in 1989 for drug trafficking links, as was widely reported by the media. The OFAC's apparent inability to retrieve this information and change its list accordingly strongly implies that the procedure for cleaning up the blacklist may be in need of an upgrade.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CUBA / 20 SEP 2021

Uruguay has dismantled a group dedicated to bringing Cuban migrants illegally to the country, highlighting a lesser-known human smuggling route.

CARIBBEAN / 4 JUL 2022

On June 28, the Cuban Interior Ministry announced that at least two clashes between speedboat crews coming from the United…

CARIBBEAN / 16 FEB 2021

Cuban health officials have warned against taking medication believed to be smuggled in from Haiti after reports of adverse…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…