US transfers to Cuba shall be suspended, based on Western Union

© Reuters. A man is on the phone outside a Western Union office in Havana

HAVANA (Reuters) – Western Union (NYSE 🙂 said Friday that U.S. money transfers to Cuba were suspended in 10 days due to the Trump administration’s recent sanction on the communist-led island, a blow to the many Cubans who respond to overseas transfers from family members are instructed.

Customers now have to find new ways to send transfers amid Cuba’s deepest economic crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

One route can be done in cash via flights from the US that resume next week after Cuba closes its borders at the start of the pandemic, while other, younger digital platforms also exist.

Remittances have become a major source of hard currency in an inefficient state economy operating under a crippling US trade embargo.

“Today we announced to our customers that they have limited time to send money to loved ones from the United States in Cuba,” Western Union said in a statement.

The world’s largest money transfer company said November 22 was the deadline for customers to send money to Cuba, while November 23 was the deadline for pickup.

In this way, the company will close its operations in Cuba shortly before the new regulations come into effect on November 26th. These prohibit US companies from sending remittances into the country through military-controlled companies such as Fincimex, Western Union’s main Cuban partner.

Western Union said it had not found a solution in the one month period it was given.

“Our customers are committed to continue exploring all possible options to find a solution,” it said.

However, it can only be a matter of time. As US President-elect Joe Biden’s team has signaled, he will reverse Trump’s moves that undermine family ties such as transfers and travel.

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