[Marxism] Swiss Banks sever trade with Cuba: Cuban Central Bank responds

Lüko Willms lueko.willms at t-online.de
Sun Nov 19 13:04:03 MST 2006


   
  On November 12, Reuters and other international agencies reported that 
the two leading Swiss banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, had bowed to US 
pressure and "severed relations with Cuba" and "are not conducting 
dealings with the country". 

  The US government had accused especially the UBS for "laundering" US 
Dollars from Cuba, i.e. cashing in USD bills spent in Cuba by tourists 
or coming from exiled Cubans to their relatives living on the island. 

  Cuba then successfully replaced the USD circulating as second currency 
in Cuba by the Peso Convertible, short CUC, and diversifying their 
international currency dealings to other currencies. 

  See e.g. the Reuters report at 
><http://today.reuters.com/news/articlebusiness.aspx?type=bankingFinanci
al&storyID=nL12896242&from=business>
or by CNN at
><http://money.cnn.com/2006/11/12/news/international/bc.financial.swiss.
cuba.reut/index.htm>

  On November 16, the Cuban Central Bank commented this with this 
statement: 

----- cut -------------------

  Press Release from the Central Bank of Cuba
  ===========================================

As is widely known, in late 2004, Cuba had to take measures to 
substitute the Cuban Convertible Peso for the dollar in monetary 
circulation, with the goal of frustrating the perfidious attempt by the 
United States government to prevent dollars in cash that had arrived in 
Cuba via completely legal channels from being utilized to pay for part 
of our imports of goods and services.

At the time, it was extensively explained how the U.S. government was 
bringing pressures to bear against the Swiss Bank UBS to prohibit it 
from carrying out its normal business with Cuba. That attempt was based 
exclusively on the terror being spread throughout the United States with 
its proclaimed policy of "you're either with us or against us."

As has occurred throughout all of these years, the actions of our 
enemies were defeated on that opportunity, as well: the dollar, the 
symbol of their imperial power, was humiliatingly expelled from Cuba; or 
commercial and financial relations continued to expand, and the 
credibility and respect for our country and its financial institutions 
are growing every day.

It should be added that based on that experience, our country's 
far-sighted policy has been to substantially increase the use of other 
currencies in our international transactions, given that we are 
persuaded that the irresponsible materialistic U.S. policy, which has 
led it to fall into unsustainable fiscal and commercial deficits and 
placed its own currency in crisis, and the tendency for its gradual 
depreciation is now irreversible.

An example of how times have changed for the dollar is that at this 
moment, a simple statement by the president of the Central Bank of China 
regarding the composition of its reserves by currency type is enough to 
make the dollar depreciate, as occurred very recently.

It should not be forgotten that China today possesses the largest amount 
of monetary reserves on the planet (more than $1 billion dollars), four 
times more than those of the United States; hence, any comment by the 
Central Bank of China that is interpreted as an intention to reduce the 
amount of dollars in its reserves can have a negative impact on that 
currency.

To the great discomfort of the United States, the fate of its currency 
now depends -- among other factors -- on what is said in China. That is 
the fragility of the dollar at this time.

In the specific case of the Swiss bank UBS and subsequently of another 
bank from that same country, Credit Suisse, an unfortunate subordination 
to the orders of the empire took place, providing an irrefutable example 
of how the United States imposes its laws in an extraterritorial manner, 
and decides who can or cannot do business with the institutions of other 
nations that are supposed to be free and sovereign.

In the case of UBS, coercion and blackmail may also be involved, given 
that an EFE news agency report dated Oct. 29, 2005 indicated that 
certain branches of that bank participated in the United States "food 
for oil" program imposed on Iraq, and according to investigations, at 
least five Swiss businesses paid the Iraqi government some $1 million 
each to win contracts in that country within that program. This was 
revealed to U.S. authorities, who were conducting the aforementioned 
investigations, and extraordinarily weakened their ability to act 
independently of the United States, even when they see themselves 
obliged to sacrifice their professional ethics, even by lying.

It should be added that, according international media reports, UBS was 
a generous donor to the election campaigns of Bush and his rival, John 
Kerry, which confirms its desire to win the complacence of the U.S. 
government no matter which party is in power.

More recently, the Swiss newspaper 'Sonntagszeitung' published an 
article last Sunday in which it was justly noted that in Cuba's case, 
there are no international sanctions but that nevertheless, the two 
aforementioned Swiss banks had broken off their business with our 
country.

This article said, among other things:

"In the case of Cuba, which has no international sanctions and is not in 
conflict with the organizations of the United Nations, the Cubans are 
boycotted by one country alone: the United States of America."

Questioned by the press, on November 14, both banks offered the 
following explanation to the Swiss newspaper 'Le Temps':

"UBS is explaining its decision due to the high costs of monitoring 
respect for and conformity with the regulations for dealing with clients 
from the communist island. For Credit Suisse, 'Cuba is one of the 
sensitive countries,' the bank's spokesman said, without expanding on 
what that means."

In the same article, there are statements by Carlo Lombardini, business 
lawyer for the Geneva Bar Association, in which he says "Both Swiss 
banks are influenced by the U.S. viewpoint of the world. The cessation 
of transactions with Cuba is one of the consequences."

Finally, we must ask: Who decides which countries are "sensitive" or 
not? And within what parameters is that classification based?

Or could it be that nobody knows that 50% of all the money-laundering in 
the world is done in the United States? Shouldn't this be taken into 
account by the aforementioned banks in considering that the United 
States is a truly "sensitive" country with respect to acting in 
accordance with the laws of its financial system?

The answer is very simple: the actions of these two Swiss banks have 
nothing to do with respect for the law or precautions in their banking 
transactions. They are simply acts of submission to the United States, 
which they do not dare to admit.

Fortunately, there are few institutions like UBS or Credit Suisse that 
humiliatingly subordinate themselves to the United States, and there is 
a growing number of agencies and countries that are not disposed to 
blindly allying themselves with an empire whose repeated failures in the 
last few weeks are just the tip of the iceberg of its irreversible 
decadence.

(Translated by Granma International)
------------ off ------------
<http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2006/noviembre/vier17/48banco.html>
original spanisch: 
<http://www.granma.cubaweb.cu/2006/11/17/nacional/artic02.html>



Lüko Willms
Frankfurt, Germany
--------------------------------
visit http://www.mlwerke.de Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, Lenin, Trotzki in German




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