Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cuba language in Omnibus Appropriations Bill

From the bill

SEC. 620. Section 910(a) of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7209(a)) is amended to read as follows:
"(a) AUTHORIZATION OF TRAVEL RELATING TO COMMERCIAL SALES OF AGRICULTURAL AND MEDICAL GooDs.-The Secretary of the Treasury shall promulgate regulations under which the travel-related transactions listed in paragraph (c) of section 515.560 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, are authorized by general license for travel to, from, or within Cuba for the marketing and' sale of agricultural and medical goods pursuant to the provisions of this title.".
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SEC. 621. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to administer, implement, or enforce the amendments made to section 515.560 and section 515.561 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, related to travel~ to visit relatives in Cuba, that were published in the Federal Register on June 16, 2004.

SEC. 622. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to administer, implement, or enforce the amendment made to section 515.533 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, that was published in the Federal Register on February 25, 2005.

From Statement

The Committees on Appropriations are greatly concerned by the resource allocation.
decisions being made by OFAC, as noted in a November 2007 report from .B@ €5vennneftt
Ass"nlJt:il~ilit),OffiQe (GAOr OFAC's resource allocation decisions should be made on the
basis of the most pressing national security threats facing the United States. OFAC is
responsible for administering and enforcing more than 20 economic and trade sanctions
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programs, based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals, against targeted foreign
countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and proliferators of weapons of mass
destruction. Yet, as the GAO report points out, Cuba embargo-related cases comprised 61 .
percent of OFAC's investigatory caseload from 2000 through2006. In contrast, Cuba embargo related
cases comprise a minor part of the investigation caseloads of the Commerce
Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)/Office of Export Enforcement and the
Department of Homeland Security's Bureau ofImmigration and Customs Enforcement (3
percent and 0.2 percent, respectively).
In addition, OFAC penalties for Cuba embargo violations represented more than 70 .
percent ofOFAC's total penalties between 2000 and 2005. The report notes that most of these
penalties were for infractions such as purchasing Cuban cigars. By contrast, Cuba embargo
penalties comprised just 0.16 percent of the total penalties of BIS during the period of 20022006.
The Commerce Department, the Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Justice Department reported undertaking
relatively few investigations, penalties, and prosecutions of Cuba embargo violations.
The Committees on Appropriations strongly concur with GAO's recommendation that
the Secretary of the Treasury direct OFAC to assess its allocation of resources for investigating
and penalizing violations ofthe Cuba embargo with respect to the numerous other sanctions
programs OFAC administers. The Department is directed to report to the House and Senate .
. Appropriations Committees, within 90 days of enactment ofthis Act, as to the steps it is taking
to assess OFAC's allocation ofresources, along with any plans to reallocate OFAC resources.
As part of such report, the Department is additionally directed to provide the following
information:
(1) for each fiscal year from 2001 to 2008, the following information related to OFAC's
Cuba-related licensing:
• the number of family travel licenses issued, as well as the number denied;
• the number of religious travel licenses issued?;s well as the number denied;
• the num.ber of academic travel licenses issued(a'"s well as the number denied; .
• the number of licenses issued for the various categories of permissible travel;
• the number of licenses denied for the various categories of permissible travel;
• the number of fines issued;
• the average amount of fines;
• the total amount (in dollars) of fines issued per violation category;
• the number of Cuba travel service providers receiving licenses;
• the names of Cuba travel service providers receiving licenses;
• •the number of Full-time Equivalents (FTE) used for issuing Cuba lic~nses; and
• the number of FTE used for issuing licenses for Cuba travel service providers;
(2) for each fiscal year from 2001 to 2008, the following information related to OFAC
. enforcement of the Cuba embargo:
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• the number of FTE used for Cuba embargo enforcement;
• the number of fines issued;
• the average amount of fines;
• the total amount (in dollars) of fines issued, per violation category;
• the number of cases heard by OFAC Administrative Law Judges, along with information
on whether these judges were OFAC's own, or whether they were borrowed from other•
Government agencies;
• the average fine in these cases; and
• the total amount (in dollars) of fines issued by these judges; .
(3) for each fiscal year from 1990 to 2008, the following information related to OFAC
enforcement of the Cuba embargo:
• the total amount offines collected in each year; ... .. .
• the number oftravelers engaged in illegal travel to Cuba and apprehended, as reported to
OFAC, along with statistics as to the points-of-entry where travelers were apprehended;
• the number of cases against travelers that were/are disputed by the traveler;
• the number of these cases that are settled;
• the average settlement amount; and
• the average time from the first notice sent to the traveler until final settlement was
reached;



Section 620 directs the Secretary of the Treasury to promulgate regulations allowing, by
general license, travel to, from, or within Cuba related to the marketing and sale of agricultural
and medical goods.
Section 621 prohibits funds from being used to administer, implement, or enforce the
amendments made to the Code of Federal Regulations, published in the Federal Register on June
16,2004, relating to travel to visit relatives in Cuba.
Section 622 prohibits funds from being used to enforce the regulations, published in the
Federal Register on February 25, 2005, regarding the sales of food and medicine to Cuba.

5 comments:

Cuba Journal said...

I still say that going back to the Clinton provisions on travel to Cuba is NOT ENOUGH. Barack Obama promised unlimited travel and remittances to our families in Cuba. Anything less would be a betrayal of his campaign promises.

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