On July 12, 2013, M&TBank informedtheCuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C.,about itsdecision tono longer provide banking services toforeign missions and a limited period of time was given to the Cuban Interests Section and the Cuban Permanent Mission to the United Nations to close all accounts and find a new bank to do business with.
Due to the restrictions still in force, derived from the U.S. policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, and despite the numerous efforts made with the Department of State and several banks, it has been impossible for the Cuban Interests Section to find a U.S. or international bank with branches in the U.S. to operate the bank accounts of the Cuban diplomatic missions.
This situation will seriously affect the normal performance of the functions of the Cuban Interests Section and the Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
Due to this circumstance of force majeure, the Cuban Interests Section is forced tointerruptconsular services, starting from November 26, 2013,until further notice.Consular services will only be provided for humanitarian cases and other of specific nature.
The Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C., has reiterated to the U.S. Department of State the legal duty of the U.S. Government to meet the commitments undertaken under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961, and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April 24, 1963, which stipulate that the receiving State shall accord full facilities for the performance of the functions of the diplomatic missions and consular offices. Likewise, the U.S. government is legally bound to comply with the agreement signed on May 30, 1977, which established the interests sections in both countries, as part as the reaffirmation of the commitment with the letter of International Treaties governing the diplomatic and consular relations.
The Cuban Interests Sectionparticularly regretsthe effects this may have on Cuban and U.S. citizens, due to our Consular Section’s impossibility to continue offering the services related to passport and visa issuance, authentication of documents and other services, with the negative impact on family visits, academic, cultural, educational, scientific, sports and other kind of exchange between Cuba and the United States.
Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C.
26 November 2013