Treasury cracks down on Cuba tour firm

Dec. 8, 2004 at 5:21 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department Wednesday publicly identified a tour operator officials say has been illegally funneling funds to Cuba.

Tour & Marketing International was identified as a Cuban company facilitating travel for U.S. nationals to visit Cuba. Under current law, U.S. citizens are banned from traveling to Cuba, with few exceptions.

"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, the U.S. Treasury's assistant secretary for terrorist financing.

While the company did not have a U.S. office, the money it took in from U.S. tourists was used directly by Fidel Castro's regime, Zarate said.

By banning Tour & Marketing from doing business with U.S. nationals, the Bush administration is stepping up its efforts to "choke off dollars streaming to the Castro regime," officials said.

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