Cuba protests US fines on bank transactions

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Associated Press

Posted on December 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 20 at 12:00 PM

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba is protesting recent U.S. government fines levied against two banks for enabling countries subject to U.S. sanctions to make prohibited transactions through American financial institutions.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry says in a statement dated Thursday that the penalties are "unjust and illegal."

It says the fines demonstrate that a policy of "ferocious persecution" against Cuba has not only persisted but strengthened despite a recent vote at the United Nations overwhelmingly rejecting the 50-year-old U.S. embargo.

Earlier this month HSBC agreed to pay $1.9 billion in a case over financial transactions involving Cuba, Iran, Libya, Myanmar and Sudan from the mid-1990s to 2006.

The following day Japan's Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ reached an $8.6 million settlement with the U.S. Department of the Treasury in a similar case.

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