Western Union suspends sending remittances to Cuba

HAVANA.- Western Union suspended its operations sending remittances to Cuba from the United States, attributing the measure to technical difficulties in the Cuban banking system. A customer service representative for the Denver, Colorado-based company confirmed that they are working to resolve the issues, without specifying the nature of the reported difficulties.

According to review Martí News, The Central Bank of Cuba (BCC) has not issued information in this regard.

This week, Banco Metropolitano reported impacts on its services, but later reported that these had been restored.

The company Orbit SA, responsible for managing transfers from abroad as a non-bank financial institution, has also not commented on the suspension of remittance services. It should be noted that Orbit SA obtained a license from the BCC in 2022 to operate as a non-bank financial institution, replacing to Fincimex, sanctioned in 2020 by OFAC.

In that sense, the Cuban regime reported on an alleged “computer virus” coming from abroad, affecting the cybersecurity of gas stations, which could have implications for recent banking interruptions and the suspension of remittances through Western Union. However, the connection between the two events has not yet been confirmed.”

Regime announces dismissals

The designated ruler, Miguel Díaz-Canel, announced the dismissal of the Minister of Economy, Alejandro Gil, after delays in the implementation of measures to increase fuel and transportation prices. Joaquín Alonso Vázquez, current president of the Central Bank, was designated as his replacement by the Council of State.

This decision follows the suspension of a gasoline price increase, originally scheduled for February 1, due to a foreign cyberattack, the government argued. Late last year, the government warned of the need to increase fuel and electricity prices or face reductions in basic products.

Díaz-Canel also dismissed the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, Elba Rosa Pérez, being replaced by Eduardo Martínez, legislator and president of the Cuban pharmaceutical company BioCubaFarma. Alberto López, governor of the province of Villa Clara, will assume leadership of the Ministry of the Food Industry, according to state media. These actions occur in a context of acute economic crisis that has led to the emigration of hundreds of thousands of people in search of better conditions in the United States.

FOUNTAIN: With information from Martí Noticias