Informacion economica sobre Cuba

PriceSmart and Cuba in ‘shopping’ dispute
By rickey singh
Story Created: Apr 12, 2014 at 8:40 PM ECT

International ware­house shopping company PriceSmart, which operates
in vari­ous Caribbean Com­mu­nity (Caricom) states, is under sharp
criticisms for now involving Cuba’s diplomatic mis­sions in the region
in the more than half-cen­tury of America’s trade, economic and
financial blockade of that Caribbean nation.
Immediately affected Cuban missions include Barbados, Jamaica, and
Trinidad and Tobago where accredited diplo­mats, their families and
staff have been in­formed by PriceSmart management of the sus­pension of
busi­ness ac­counts after being ad­vised by the parent company of
possible vio­lations of the US embargo in trans­acting business with
Cu­bans without “per­manent residency” in countries of their opera­tions.
In a mixture of hila­ri­ty and strong warning, current Caricom chairman
Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Gre­na­dines Dr Ralph Gon­salves
said in a telephone interview yesterday that the US government should be
“mindful of the implications of Price­Smart’s action”.
He pointed out while at first, he could not resist “laughing at this
infantile political move”, he was never­theless mindful that PriceSmart
is in­corporated into the laws of sovereign Carib­be­an states, and now
enga­ging in “unnecessary, unprovoked acts” against Cuba’s diplomatic
per­sonnel and other Cuban nationals who are wor­king in various
regional sectors, including doctors and nurses.
The Vincentian prime minister said neither the US government nor owners
and operators of corporate enterprises like PriceSmart could be
unmindful of the historic role initially played by Caricom countries to
bring Cuba out of the “dip­lo­matic isolation” to which the US economic
embargo had assigned it, following its Fidel Cas­tro-led 1959 revolution.
Further, of the com­mu­­nity’s continuing involve­ment with the rest of
the international commu­nity, minus the mi­nis­­cule exception of three,
in passage year after year, resolutions denouncing the “archaic law”
gover­ning the embargo which has “miserably failed to destabilise” the
govern­ment in Havana or to “quench the revolution­ary spirit of the
Cuban peo­ple…”.

‘Criminal act’

Criticisms of Price­Smart’s suspension of bus­iness accounts for
Cu­­bans have come from
Cuba’s embassies in Ja­mai­ca, Barbados, and Trini­dad and Tobago,
headed respectively by ambassadors Bernardo Guanche Hernandez, Lis­ette
Perez Perez and Guit­termo Vazquez Moreno.
For ambassador Her­nan­dez, the decision by PriceSmart constituted “a
criminal act, based on an anachronistic law” which violates the Vienna
In Barbados, ambas­sa­dor Perez disclosed a representative of the local
PriceSmart turned up to inform the embassy about the suspension of
business transactions while, he explained, they invest “effort, time
and resources” in pursuing lawful channels in the US which “may enable
us to reactivate those accounts…”.
The resident Cuban diplo­matic missions in Barba­dos, Jamaica, and
Trini­dad and Tobago have pointed to “unne­ces­sary inconveniences” to
non-embassy staff like Cuban doctors and teachers.
According to ambassador Pe­­rez, there seems to be an “un­derlying
intention to en­courage defec­tions” by Cubans, in favour of having
per­manent resident status that would enable them to do “membership
busi­ness” with PriceSmart.
“This is the sort of con­tempt by those”, she said, “who do not really
understand what the Cu­ban revolution and Cuban patriotism mean for us…”.
Ironically, the move by Price­Smart to suspend busi­ness tran­sactions
with Cu­ban di­plo­matic missions and Cubans who do not have permanent
work­­ing status in Caricom states came against the backdrop of approval
last month by the Cuban National Assem­bly of a ground-breaking
for­eign-investment law to en­cou­rage a new “development partner­ship”
that would be exten­ded also to overseas-based Cubans.

Source: PriceSmart and Cuba in ‘shopping’ dispute | Trinidad Express
Newspaper | News ––in-shopping-dispute–255047631.html

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