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September Thursday

Cuban Gov't has no direct role in remittance receipts, Cuban official clarifies



HAVANA, cUBA, Aug 17 (ACN) The Cuban government has no direct role in the receipt of remittances, Yamil Hernandez Gonzalez, General Manager of Financiera Cimex, S.A. (FINCIMEX), explained to Cubadebate.

He pointed out that this is a commercial activity and is managed by a commercial entity, in this case FINCIMEX, and no foreign government, including that of the United States, has the right to dictate to the island which company can manage remittances and which cannot.

In October 2020, the U.S. government banned Western Union's relations with Cuban institutions in charge of processing remittances to Cuba, specifically with this entity, unilaterally putting an end to the flow of remittances through regular and institutional channels.

Hernandez Gonzalez pointed out that Western Union was the entity in charge of sending remittances to Cuba and under the existing structure, this entity charged the remittance sender in the United States five dollars for every 100 dollars sent, as a commercial commission.

They paid FINCIMEX one dollar for every hundred of remittances for services rendered, which is a common practice in the international remittance industry, he said.

"It is false that FINCIMEX, the Cuban government or the armed forces appropriated 20 or 40 % of the money sent to Cuba from the United States, a falsehood that politicians in that country repeat endlessly. I insist, the money sent was not taxed in any way when it entered Cuba. The recipient received the total amount sent in full and in its entirety".

He reiterated that FINCIMEX is a 100 % civilian entity, none of its workers is military and the income for services rendered is part of the general income of the country and is allocated both to the maintenance and operation of the company itself -including its technological infrastructure- and to making contributions to the national budget and to the economy as a whole.

The measure has had a negative impact on the standard of living of the recipients and on the budgets of those who send them as it is said that people are currently paying in the United States up to 30 dollars or more for every hundred dollars they send to their relatives in Cuba through irregular channels, the official commented.

Another consequence has been the increase of uncontrolled currency transfers from that country to the island, something that is never positive and is contrary to what the international community is trying to organize and regulate, Hernandez Gonzalez concluded.

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