US Anti-Terror Agency to Divert Resources... to Cuba??
Below is a composite of various reports:
A task force of US agencies has been formed to strengthen enforcement of the embargo on Cuba. As announced, it will strongly pursue those who violate the current US bans on travel, trade, remittances or investment.
This comes 2 years after a report to Congress revealed that the enfocement institution - OFAC - the Treasury Department agency entrusted with blocking the financial resources of terrorists has assigned five times as many agents to investigate Cuban embargo violations as it has to track Osama bin Laden's and Saddam Hussein's money, documents show.
The announcement was made by a Cuban-American US District Attorney, who noted in a press conference that the objective of these actions is to "isolate" the Cuban government and "speed up" the destruction of the Revolution.
Persons who violate the blockade regulations could receive prison terms of up to 10 years and fines ranging from $250,000 to $1 million in the case of corporations.
Cuba policy watchers have speculated that the announcement was meant to appease hard-liners in the Cuban American community who support restrictions on Cuba.
"Maybe it'll make a difference if they actually make this a higher priority than other issues," said Philip Peters of the Lexington Institute, a public policy group in Arlington, Va. "What is clear is the impact is on people in Miami and families in Cuba and that this task force doesn't have a prayer of really affecting the finances of the Cuban government in a decisive way."
Silvia Wilhelm, executive director of the Cuban American Commission for Family Rights said the regulations would not result in a speedy transition.
"It is very, very sad when our government sends a message to a community that we're going to keep hurting your family by keeping these provisions in place that do nothing but separate Cuban families," she said.