dimanche, avril 09, 2006

Actualité - La Scotia Bank se soumet à la législation anti-cubaine des États-Unis

Franc-Parler rend compte de la situation inadmissible à l'égard de Cuba et les pressions exercés par les États-Unis pour soumettre une banque canadienne à sa législation. L'affaire de la Scotia Bank démontre jusqu'à quel point le Canada est soumis à l'annexion des États-Unis et la nécessité de supporter Cuba dans sa lutte à la défense de sa souveraineté.

Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba’s National Assembly, has accused the U.S. government of forcing the Scotia Bank of Canada, by virtue of the so-called U.S. Patriot Act, to refuse services to the island.

Invoking that U.S. law to which it has submitted, the bank has just announced via its Jamaican branch that it will no longer provide its monetary transaction services in U.S. dollars to Cuba, thus provoking a debate in Canada regarding the legality of an institution of that country yielding in such a manner to foreign legislation that goes against national interests.

According to the DPA news agency, Alarcon charged that "from Washington, the Canadian bank was ordered to extend the blockade against Cuba in financing and banking matters, violating Jamaica’s laws and also Canada’s, which prohibits taking such actions."

Qualifying the action as a "reinforcement of the blockade," the Cuban leader affirmed that Washington’s economic war includes attempts to prevent Cuba’s baseball players from receiving the cash prize that corresponds to them for winning second place in the World Baseball Classic.

"Now we discover that this instrument (the Patriot Act) also has a destructive purpose against Cuba," affirmed Alarcon, who was in Kingston, Jamaica for the inauguration of new Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

In an article titled "Cuba slaps back at Canadian Bank," Canadian journalist Oakland Ross explained in The Toronto Star newspaper how, some days previously, Gisela Garcia Rivera, Cuba’s ambassador in Jamaica, closed all of her representation’s accounts in the Kingston bank after learning of the bank’s new and outrageous anti-Cuban provisions.

"It is a question of principles above all," the diplomat told the Star. "Obviously, Scotia Bank is not a trustworthy bank for us."

García Rivera referred to a letter dated March 7 signed by Barrington Chisholm, manager of the Scotia Bank branch on Knutsford Boulevard in the Jamaican capital, in which he wrote that from that date, his bank was unwilling to manage accounts in U.S. dollars for Cuban clients or to carry out international financial operations for them.

"The decision came from the central branch," Chisholm said in an interview with the Star.

In Toronto, bank spokesman Frank Switzer confirmed that Scotia’s decision would be implemented by all of its branches in Canada and abroad.

Strangely, there was evidently confusion in the financial institution’s justifications for making such a decision. In his letter, Chisholm refers to the U.S. Patriot Act, while in his conversation with the Star, Switzer admitted that that legislation was "possibly" not what should be invoked.

The newspaper noted that no other Canadian bank seems interested in following Scotia’s example.

Myrna Drew-Lytle, spokeswoman for the Canadian Bankers Association, has stated for her part that she did not know of any common position among Canadian financial institutions regarding U.S. legal provisions.

A spokesman for Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that the issue was being studied.

For most Canadians, the extraterritorial application of U.S. laws in Canada is intolerable intervention.

Already, the Canadian Network on Cuba, the solidarity network with Cuba in that country, has informed Scotia Bank that it will ask its 55,000 members to end their relationships with that institution and to urgently inform their parliamentary deputies of the scandalous situation.

(Granma)

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