The Washington Post published today an article about Terry McAuliffe’s Cuba trip: “For McAuliffe, Cuba trip to promote Va. products was a bust.” My prior posts on McAuliffe’s Cuba trip are available here and here.
According to an unnamed McAuliffe campaign official quoted in the story, McAuliffe no longer had copies of the paperwork for the 2010 Cuba trip. They may want to dust off a copy of OFAC regulations that clearly state, documents for such transactions need to be retained for at least five (5) years. See 31 CFR § 501.601.
Selling to Virginia wines (any wine for that matter) to Cuba, on its face, is a joke. Unlike other food items or medicines, the only entity that would benefit from such trade is the state. The only people drinking wine in Communist Cuba are regime officials and tourists.
Forget about the wine, there are more important questions. Who paid for this trip? Who organized the meetings with the Cuban government? Who did they meet with while they were in Cuba? Did McAuliffe file the legally required trip reports before and after the trip? Did they engage in any activities that required a specific license from the Treasury Department? Did the State Department or NSC know about the trip (remember, Clinton was Secretary of State)?
McAuliffe probably thinks this Cuba issue is a joke. In fact, a lot of people in this town make light of Cuba issues. It is easy to do when your family has not been directly impacted by the communists. For a perspective from the pro-Cuba freedom advocates, the Capitol Hill Cubans blog posted an item you should read: How Terry McAuliffe Was Scammed by Castro.
(UPDATED 3:20PM): In case your wondering about the reporting legal fine print (and I’ve had a few calls since I posted this story), here is the excerpt from the regulations:
(3) The traveler submits to OFAC at least 14 days in advance of each departure to Cuba a written report identifying both the traveler and the producer or distributor and describing the purpose and scope of such travel. Within 14 days of return from Cuba, the traveler shall submit a written report describing the business activities conducted, the persons with whom the traveler met in the course of such activities, and the expenses incurred. Such reports must be captioned “Section 515.533(e) Report” and faxed to 202/622-1657 or mailed to the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Attn: Licensing Division, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Annex-2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20220. If more than one traveler is traveling on the same trip for or on behalf of the same producer or distributor, one combined pre-trip and one combined post-trip report may be filed covering all such travelers.
More to come …