[Marxism] Swiss Banks sever trade with Cuba: Cuban Central Bank responds
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
or by CNN at
On November 16, the Cuban Central Bank commented this with this
----- 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
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
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
(Translated by Granma International)
------------ off ------------
visit http://www.mlwerke.de Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, Lenin, Trotzki in German
More information about the Marxism