The blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba is preventing a Spanish bank from providing services to the Cuban embassy in Spain, it was revealed on Saturday.
The crippling U.S. sanctions, imposed six decades ago, prohibits Santander Group from installing terminals in the Consulate General of Cuba in the Spanish cities of Barcelona, Seville and Santiago de Compostela.
“It is disappointing that three Cuban consulates have been deprived of receiving services from a Spanish entity to improve service to its users, under dark and unjustified U.S. unilateral decisions that negatively affect Cubans and third countries,” said Eugenio Martinez Enriquez, Cuban ambassador in Spain.
According to Martinez, a Santander subsidiary in Catalonia told the Cuban consulate in Barcelona there was a difficulty in providing services for users to pay consular fees by credit cards since Elavon, the company processing the cards is a subsidiary of the U.S. company Bancorp.
The ambassador said that these three consulates in Spain “have been victims of an extraterritorial application of the biggest system of financial coercion that exists.”
The Santander Group is one of the largest financial entities in Spain and has thousands of branch offices around the world.
The U.S. approved a series of measures to ease travel and commerce earlier this year but still hasn’t ended the economic and financial blockade against Cuba.
Washington imposed the blockade in 1960 after the victory of the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro, which overthrew the regime of Fulgencio Batista, a U.S.-backed dictator.
Cuba presented a report on Friday that claims the U.S. blockade on the island nation has cost it US$4.7 billion over the last year and US$753.7 billion over the last six decades. Last year the U.N. General Assembly voted 191-2 to condemn the U.S. blockade of Cuba, with only the U.S. and Israel opposed.