Not satisfied with the tremendous amount of money imposed on them because of all the fraud committed during the real estate and mortgage crisis, Bank of America is now, again, trying to destroy the life of many working people, and pretending to be on the government’s side.
This time their harassment is directed to the Cuban people of Las Vegas. Call them Cuban nationals, of Cuban descent, or whatever indicates that they are Cuban.
Numerous Cuban people in the Las Vegas area have been receiving a letter from Bank of America stating: “Bank of America must follow U.S. economic sanctions administered by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and broader U.S. requirements to know our customers. As a result, we need to follow certain rules if we are operating accounts for individuals who are citizens of Cuba or any other U.S.-sanctioned country.”
The Bank of America letter demands a copy of the person’s passport and it must not be expired. (So if we don’t have an unexpired passport, now we must take on that expense just to keep our bank accounts!).
It has always been a rule or a law that it is illegal to photocopy a government document, even though the State Department advises travelers to keep a copy of their passports in case of theft in a foreign land.
How in the world is anyone going to give a photocopy of their passport to a person employed by Bank of America, when we don’t know the identity of the person behind the telephone line and/or behind the fax machine, especially when they are well known to operate under fraudulent activities? It is very scary to be the victim of identity theft.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control administers and enforces economic sanctions programs primarily against countries and groups of individuals such as terrorists and narcotics traffickers.
Another portion of the letter reads (and in bold letters): By Thursday, September 25, 2014 we must have verified documentation proving your current residence. If we do not have verified documentation by this date, we will need to restrict access to all of your Bank of America accounts.
Nothing I hate more that when people try to threaten or intimidate me.
I am one of the recipients of that letter. Immediately I called the Customer Specialty Services of Bank of America and had the opportunity to speak to a woman named Amanda Tote who told me that their records show that I am a Cuban citizen, resident of Iraq.
Honestly, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful, but I had to laugh in her ear. Since January 1, 1959, I have never put foot in Cuba, and Iraq is not a country I would ever visit.
But since Bank of America wants to smell the footsteps of the government and according to their letter they are following the orders of the Department of the Treasury, I wonder if the Secretary of the Treasury, Jacob J. Lew, remembers that it was President Barack Obama — the one who in April 2009, just three months after taking possession of the White House, ordered by decree the lift of all restrictions over trips, shipments and/or remittance to Communist Cuba?
President Obama even ordered the elimination of limits over frequency of trips and stays on the Island of Cuban residents in the United States traveling to Cuba.
But–and there is always a but–if Cubans need to be investigated closely for the few dollars they have in their Bank of America accounts, and they threaten to have those accounts restricted, shouldn’t the wealthy Democrat entrepreneurs of Florida–Paul L. Cejas, Carlos Saladrigas Gonzales-LLorente, and Alfonso (Alfie) Fanjul — also be investigated?
Is this a matter of being a Republican or a Democrat? I don’t believe so; it is a matter of principle.
Those three — Cejas, Saladrigas and Fanjul — have been traveling to Cuba to negotiate with the Cuban government. A total disgrace, considering where they come from.
Paul L Cejas is a native of Cuba born in 1943 who arrived in Miami, Florida in 1960, at the age of 17. He is chairman and chief executive officer of PLC investments, Inc. a wholly owned company that manages portfolio investments, as well as investments in real estate, healthcare and venture capital projects.
For all those people who are going to write and ask me what it has to do with even being Republican or Democrat, consider the following: Mr. Cejas served as Ambassador to Belgium under U.S. President Bill Clinton In 2008. Mr. Cejas was also a top fundraiser for Hillary Clinton.
Carlos Saladrigas Gonzales Llorente is a native of Cuba, a CPA who serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive officer of Regis HR at Advance Auto Parts.
Alfonso (Alfie) Fanjul fled Cuba as a young man, leaving behind his family’s mansions and vast sugarcane fields as they were being wrested away by the communist Castro regime. In exile in the United States, Fanjul built an even larger sugar empire.
Now, contrary to what almost anyone, especially Cuban nationals, could imagine, Alfie Fanjul and his brother have begun to release old grievances and tentatively eye Cuba as a place for them and other U.S. businessmen to expand their enterprises. Fanjul has started visiting the island of his birth and having conversations with top Cuban officials. This is what we call disgusting and degrading.
Before Bank of America starts harassing customers who were born in Cuba but never set foot on the island since Castro took over by orders of the Department of the Treasury, it is time for the Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service and every other government entity to begin investigating those Cuban nationals doing business with communist Cuba, enemy of the United States of America.
Perly Viasmensky is the General Manager of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Perly Viasmensky, email her at pviasmensky@lasvegas tribune.com.