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Microsoft’s fines for alleged links with Cuba reinforce US blockade

Washington, Apr 13 (Prensa Latina) The fact that Microsoft had to pay more than three million dollars in fines for allegedly violating the United States' punitive measures against Cuba and other countries shows how valid the blockade against Cuba is at present.

The US departments of the Treasury and Commerce stated that they reached a joint agreement with the multinational technology company on the apparent violations of export control regulations and sanctions ordered by Washington.

According to former, most of the alleged 1,339 infractions charged, for which Microsoft had to pay 3,327,896 dollars, involved Russian institutions included in the blacklist in Crimea, but others were linked to Cuba, Iran and Syria.

The alleged violations occurred in the context of Microsoft’s third-party distribution and resale programs, the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), an entity tasked with enforcing US sanctions, reported.

Likewise, the Microsoft employees allegedly involved in the misconduct are victims of disciplinary measures, which may include dismissal, said a company spokesman, quoted by The Wall Street Journal.

Far from fulfilling the objectives of subduing governments, the sanctions imposed by the United States on other countries do systematically cause harm and civilian victims, some US analysts have systematically denounced.

This also resulted from some statements by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who recently stated how punitive policies against Iran, for example, just don’t work in her ambition to promote political change.

This was quite a significant admission, according to an analysis published on the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft website, since Yellen heads the government agency responsible for developing and enforcing the United States’ economic and trade sanctions regimes.

As recognized by the Center for Economic and Political Research of the United States, the blockade impose on Cuba for more than 60 years is one of the oldest and strictest of all sanctions implemented by Washington.

After a brief relaxation during the Barack Obama administration (2009-2017), coercive measures were tightened and expanded by President Donald Trump (2017-2021), a policy that Joe Biden maintains for the most part.

Cuba, for its part, has repeatedly denounced the intimidating and extraterritorial effects of the blockade, which even affects US institutions and citizens.

Cuba has the nearly unanimous support of the international community in its struggle to have the blockade lifted.


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