Cuba denounces US freeze of Cuban funds

Updated: 2012-04-17 13:44


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HAVANA - The United States is withholding from Cuba some $245 million in frozen assets as part of its 50-year economic blockade against the Caribbean island nation, the official daily Granma reported Monday.

At the end of 2011, the total amount of Cuban funds frozen in US banks amounted to nearly a quarter of $1 billion, the newspaper said, adding that repeated expropriations over the years have been eating away at the considerable sum.

The assets include both cash and property belonging to Cuban citizens living in and outside Cuba, and Cuban and foreign companies, Granma said.

It reported that some of the assets and bank accounts seized by the United States belong to the Cuban government or represent transfers to Cuba from foreign institutions and individuals, including inheritances and prizes awarded to Cuban citizens in international competitions or sporting events.

According to the Granma, Washington began freezing Cuban assets in 1963 on orders of the US Treasury Department and increased pressure since the mid-1990s with the seizure of state-owned property.

From 1996 to 2006, Cuba had lost $170 million in legal decisions taken in US courts, Granma said, adding that as a result of these decisions, Cuba's frozen funds had practically disappeared.