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Western Union Forced to Close its Doors in Cuba


Western Union in Cuba will be forced to close its doors to 407 payment locations due to the latest measures imposed by the Trump Administration.

These regulations announced October 23 signifies the continued tightening of six decades of economic warfare waged by the United States against the Island.

Western Union is seeking alternatives in order to maintain its services for remittances.

“Our goal is to continue providing essential money transfer services to customers, many of whom are relying on remittances from loved ones to meet day-to-day needs… Western Union is committed to adhering to all government regulations, and we are currently working to comply with the new rules and regulations on Cuba. We will provide additional information as we formalize those plans,” a spokesperson from Western Union said in a statement.

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The recent moves by the U.S. administration are seen as a last-ditch attempt by Trump to win votes in Florida. It represents an attack designed to increase the suffering of the Cuban people. It is viewed as especially cruel occurring during the COVID-19 global crisis.

Earlier this year, in February, Western Union was forced to suspend money transfers to Cuba for citizens residing in all other countries except the U.S. This is viewed as further evidence of the extraterritorial reach of U.S. regulations.

Prior to this, in October of last year, the U.S. government placed limits on remittances sent by American families to $1,000 in total each quarter, per person, causing significant losses to Cuba and families in Cuba.

The statement from Fincimex, S.A.:

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“The inclusion of Fincimex in the list of restricted entities of the US State Department last June, and the modifications announced by the Treasury Department to the regulations for the control of Cuban assets on Friday, October 23, will prevent remittances to Cuba through US companies with general licenses, thereby directly harming the Cuban people and their families in the US.

Doing so in the midst of a pandemic underscores the cynicism, contempt for the Cuban people, and the opportunism of the US government.

Financiera Cimex S.A has guaranteed, from professionalism and respect, commercial relations with US companies and from many other countries, for the management of remittances to Cuba for more than 20 years. It does not record a lost penny in its history and, on the other hand, a constant development of its benefits, despite the pressures and attacks on the banking channels.

Family remittances to Cuba have been continuously politicized by the anti-Cuban extreme right. Since September 2019, the US government has been applying coercive measures to restrict the flow of remittances.

The recent provisions directly attack family remittances even when Washington spokesmen lie and try to make it appear that the limitations are only on a specific entity. Fincimex, as part of the Cuban financial system is the entity that by sovereign decision of the Cuban government has been in charge of guaranteeing remittances to Cuba from the US, which will be totally interrupted.

Among the North American counterparts is Western Union, an entity whose 407 payment points distributed throughout the country will close due to these brutal provisions, which also block the negotiations that, at the request of Fincimex, have been developing for months to launch the remittance service to bank accounts at MLC.

The responsibility for the interruption of the remittance service between the two countries rests with the North American government.

Most Cuban émigrés in the US support stable ties to their families, and the US government is deliberately acting to undermine those ties.”

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Western Union joins the long list of American businesses affected by U.S. government regulations including Marriott, airlines, cruise line companies, and travel agencies.

We have updated this article to include the statements issued by Fincimex, S.A., and Western Union.

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