HAVANA, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Western Union said on Friday it
was suspending U.S. money transfers to Cuba in 10 days due to
the Trump administration's latest sanction on the Communist-run
island, in a blow to the many Cubans who rely on remittances
from family abroad.
Its customers will now have to find new ways to send
transfers against the backdrop of Cuba's deepest economic crisis
since the collapse of the Soviet Union, exacerbated by the
One route may be in cash via flights from the United States
that are resuming next week after Cuba closed its borders early
in the pandemic, while other, younger digital platforms also
Remittances have become one of the top sources of hard
currency in an inefficient state-run economy laboring under a
crippling U.S. trade embargo.
"Today we informed our customers they have limited time to
send money to their loved ones from the U.S. to Cuba," Western
Union said in a statement.
The world's largest money transfer firm said Nov. 22 was the
deadline for customers to send money to Cuba while Nov. 23 was
the deadline for them to pick it up.
That way it will wrap up its Cuba operations just before the
new rules take effect on Nov. 26. These ban U.S. firms from
sending remittances to the country via military-controlled
companies like Fincimex, Western Union's main Cuban partner.
Western Union said it had failed to find a solution in the
one-month timeframe it was given.
"Our customers have our commitment that we will continue to
explore every possible option to find a solution," it said.
It may just be a question of time, however. as the team of
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has signaled he will reverse
Trump's moves hurting family ties including remittances and
(Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Kim Coghill)