Last month in Havana, during talks for normalization of relations, Josefina Vidal, chief negotiator of Cuba, said it would be difficult to open the respective embassies if Cuban section of interest were still without a bank and Cuba remained on the list of US countries sponsors of terrorism.
Those are just some of the complicated problems to be solved in both Cuba and the US try to fix their relationships.
Although financial regulations defined by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department in January will allow US travelers to use credit cards and debit on the island and American banks to open accounts in Cuban banks, there’s more questions than answers regarding the new rules.
On July 12, 2013, M & T Bank in Buffalo, NY, informed the Interests Section of Cuba in Washington that would leave in charge of the accounts of foreign missions and planned to close the accounts of both the US Interests Section and the Cuban mission to the UN in New York.
M & T gave Cuba an extension while looking for a new bank, but the accounts are finally closed 1st. March 2014 and the bank stopped accepting any deposit Cuba last February 14. Since then, Cuba has not found an American or international bank with branches in the US to be responsible for the bills.
There have been occasional disturbances consular services until the problem is solved and so far diplomatic missions can only accept cash for the processing of passports, visa fees and other consular matters.
One of the big reasons why Cuba is it so hard to find a bank is their continued presence on the list of US from countries that support terrorism, states are considered to have given again and again supporting various acts of international terrorism.
Source: El Nuevo Herald
Cuba Headlines, February 10, 2015