US company fined for violating Cuba embargo

HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) — The US Department of the Treasury has imposed a fine on the US company Halliburton for violating regulations of the trade embargo against Cuba.

The penalty, amounting to $304,706, was imposed only three days after a similar fine of $614,250 was levied on the French company CGG Services SA.

The report by the Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury points out that, between February and April 2011, Halliburton and its subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands exported goods and services to support oil and gas prospecting as well as drilling in the province of Cabinda, Angola.

According to OFAC, the Cuban company Cuba Petroleo had five percent interest in the oil and gas consortium executing those works.

The Cuban foreign ministry pointed out that the sanction on Halliburton is the third so far this year.

Halliburton joins other entities – five US and three of other nationalities — that have been fined by Washington since the announcement of its change of policy towards the island on December 17, 2014. The cumulative amount for these sanctions is around $3 billion.

So far, the amount of fines imposed during the Obama administration (2009-2016) for violations of sanctions regimes against Cuba and other countries is 49, with a cumulative value of over $14 billion.

The director general of the United States Department of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Josefina Vidal, said on Friday that the US economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba continues to be applied rigorously, Prensa Latina reported.

On Twitter, Vidal referred to the new fine by the US government on a company for doing business with Cuban counterparts, an action that emphasises the policy, imposed on the island for over half century now.

In a statement, the Cuban foreign ministry also pointed out that the sanction intensifies the deterrent effect on US and foreign entities interested in doing business with Cuba country, while reaffirming the need to remove the embargo in full as an essential element for progress towards normalization of bilateral relations.

Caribbean News Now!, March 1, 2016

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