The Humanitarian Drop “Exception” to the U.S. Embargo on Cuba

According to the Tampa Bay Times, a Florida man faces up to $100,000 in fines for alleged violations of the U.S. embargo on Cuba. It is a reminder to business travelers to the island to be mindful that despite the political rhetoric, a comprehensive embargo remains in place and that there remains, as I shared with …

U.S.-Cuba Policy: They Have “Conversations”

Congress will soon return from an extended summer break. Lawmakers will dedicate a paltry 15 legislative days before, in the lead up to the November 8 elections, Congress will again adjourn for about five weeks. Overall, that’s good news! The longer lawmakers and politicians are in town, the higher the risk of kooky things happening in the …

BNP Paribas, Trading With the Enemy

Jail Time Seems Warranted for American Citizens Who May Have Participated in this Scheme My random thoughts on the recent BNP Paribas matter: French government officials are upset with the United States. What’s new, right? This time they’re cringing over a somewhat hefty fine imposed by the United States on BNP Paribas (BNPP), one of the …

88 Million Reasons Not to Go to Cuba

To U.S. policy opponents who argue that the government does not prosecute Cuba sanctions violations, ask the folks at JPMorgan Chase Bank. The bank agreed last week to remit $88 million for alleged violations of U.S. economic sanctions regulations – the bulk of which appear to be Cuba related. Easing sanctions on Cuba is a bad …

Economic Sanctions, Expect More Use of them

For decades, critics of U.S. policy toward Cuba have harped about the failure of economic sanctions. I’ve found that the best rejoinder, to which they can never answer, is that economic sanctions are not a “policy” but a tool.  Anyhow, Harvard’s Joseph Nye has a thoughtful piece in today’s Financial Times on economic sanctions that …

Cost of Business with Rogue Regimes, Sanctions Work

Even though most U.S.-Libya economic sanctions had been eased when the events detailed in this Wall Street Journal article took place, it is a good example of why doing business with rogue regimes can be a gamble.  Read “Libya’s Goldman Dalliance Ends in Losses, Acrimony,” here. Snippets such as these also serve as a reminder …

U.S. Lawmakers Reach Agreement on New Iran Sanctions

After several weeks of negotiations, it seems as if a new round of Iran sanctions is one step closer to becoming law.  This afternoon House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Senate Banking Committee Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) issued a joint statement that an agreement had been reached on new measures targeting Iran’s …