Coming Out of the Closet for Castro Inc.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
This morning, anti-sanctions lobbyists and talking heads were giddy with excitement that the Treasury Department ("OFAC") had removed a few dozen individuals, companies and vessels from the Specially Designated Nationals ("SDN") list.

The SDN list contains the names of specific persons and entities -- mainly in third countries -- linked to a regime under U.S. sanctions.

Those linked to Cuba are persons and entities (phantom and otherwise), which are agents of Castro's regime.

Note these aren't "independent entrepreneurs" or "cuentapropistas" -- they are, quite literally, Castro Inc.

So why would anyone be so excited about doing business with Castro's shady companies and agents, particularly in third countries?

After all, these inarguably serve no benefit whatsoever to the Cuban people.

Amid their jubilation, these activists failed to realize that those removed from the SDN list were individuals who have died, companies that have closed and vessels that are out of commission -- a routine scrubbing of the list.

But their intentions were clearly revealed.

Some media outlets also got caught up in the sensationalism of this story.

Kudos to Reuters for getting (this one) right:

U.S. removes dead Cubans, sunken ships from sanctions list

The United States removed 45 companies and individuals from a Cuba sanctions blacklist on Tuesday, most of them dead people, defunct companies or sunken ships.

Among them was Amado Padron, a Cuban executed by a firing squad 26 years ago along with Arnaldo Ochoa, a decorated army general who was sentenced to death by Cuba's communist government after he was found to be connected to international drug trafficking.

The U.S. Treasury Department said the delisting was aimed at clearing "out-of-date" names from its list of Specially Designated Nationals.

Washington bans those designated from trading with U.S. individuals or companies, who face heavy fines if caught doing business with them.

The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) removed six people, 28 companies and 11 vessels from the list as part of an ongoing review of older cases. Four of the people are dead and two were delisted because the companies they were affiliated with were dissolved, officials said.

The ships had either sunk or were otherwise not operational.