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 Treasury Identifies Cuban Online Travel Agency Targeting American Tourists Bush Administration�s Crackdown on Castro Castro e Continues


12/8/2004

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In another step against Fidel Castro's oppressive regime, the U.S. Department of the Treasury today identified the travel agency TOUR & MARKETING INTERNATIONAL LTD. as a National of Cuba.

"This travel provider is not only a generator of resources that the Cuban regime uses to oppress its people, but it also facilitates the evasion of U.S. sanction policy," said Juan Carlos Zarate, Treasury's Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes.

"Castro himself placed his military in charge of Cuba's travel industry earlier this year �reconfirming his urgent need for travel-related dollars to go directly to propping up his regime," Zarate continued.

TOUR & MARKETING INTERNATIONAL LTD. provides a means by which U.S. persons can travel to Cuba via third countries by purchasing Cuba travel and tour services through the company's 60 Cuba-oriented websites, the most notable being http://www.gocubaplus.com/.

TOUR & MARKETING INTERNATIONAL LTD. caters to U.S. citizens by asserting that it is not only Cuba's number one agency for American travelers, but also that it is able to serve all travelers � regardless of whether they have a Treasury-issued license to travel to the sanctioned country. In addition, the travel agency emphasizes that it is mandatory for U.S. citizens to use the company's online payment system.

TOUR & MARKETING INTERNATIONAL LTD. has five offices in Cuba, one in Spain, one in England and one in the British Virgin Islands. The company's principal and manager are either domiciled in Cuba or nationals of Cuba. TOUR & MARKETING INTERNATIONAL LTD. is the official tour operator representing the Government of Cuba's Agencia Receptora Ecotur S.A., one of Cuba's largest local agencies.

Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction may not engage in any transactions with TOUR & MARKETING INTERNATIONAL LTD. unless authorized by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In addition, all property of TOUR & MARKETING INTERNATIONAL LTD. that is in the possession of persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction is blocked.

Today's action is part of the ongoing effort by the Bush Administration to choke off dollars streaming to the Castro regime and to make it more difficult for the Cuban government to harden its internal security and military infrastructure. These efforts are part of the Bush Administration's overall strategy to hasten the day when the people of Cuba can live free, democratic lives. Both in October 2003 and May 2004, President Bush announced stepped-up enforcement of U.S. laws prohibiting travel-related transactions with the island.

Treasury's identification of Cuban-controlled businesses furthers these efforts by cutting the designees out of the U.S. financial system, therefore keeping more hard currency from flowing into the coffers of Castro's regime. Today's action follows an October announcement by the Treasury identifying the electronic money transfer business, SERCUBA, as a national of Cuba.

With today's announcement, the Treasury Department has now taken action against 14 Cuban-controlled entities since President Bush's October 2003 statement.

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