Foreigners Canít Use Credit Cards in Embargoed Countries
Nestmann Group, Ltd.
by P. T. Freeman: Welcome
Back to the U.S.A!
Do you think
that the U.S. Treasury has the right to tell non-U.S. citizens with
no connection whatsoever to the United States in what countries
they can use their credit cards? The U.S. Treasury agency called
the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) says that it does.
A few days
ago, a letter was sent from RBC Financial (Caribbean) Limiteds
head office in Port of Spain, Trinidad. All of the banks credit
card holders throughout the Caribbean received the same form letter,
of which I obtained a copy. It says:
card is accepted virtually anywhere you travel throughout the
world, except in certain countries that are subject to economic
and trade sanctions imposed by regulatory bodies and otherwise.
As a result
of economic sanctions in place by the Office of Foreign Assets
Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (U.S. OFAC)
on certain countries, which currently include Iran, Cuba, North
Korea, Sudan and Myanmar (Burma), please be advised that effective
July 31, 2011, you will no longer be able to use your U.S. [dollar]
denominated RBTT credit card in any of these sanctioned countries.
information, we advise you that we are required to comply with
all US OFAC sanctions, since our U.S. dollar Visa and MasterCard
international transactions are settled through a U.S. Correspondent
Bank, which needs to comply with U.S. OFAC rules. As a result,
we would be unable to process these transactions.
are subject to change, and additional information can be obtained
the US Treasury website.
If you need
further clarification, kindly contact the call centre or your
branch. This notice has also been posted on our website www.rbc.com/caribbean
for ease of reference.
Thank you for choosing RBTT as your financial services provider.
Senior Manager Card Solutions Debit & Credit
this letter, I was stunned. I called my friend and colleague, Mark
Nestmann and read the letter to him. Suffice it to say, he was also
astonished and outraged.
of this policy are massive. It means that the mere use of a U.S.
dollar-denominated credit card by individuals who have never lived,
visited, or had any connection with the United States subjects those
persons to U.S. law. Just holding a credit card from a bank that
may have an upstream correspondent in the United States now makes
people who are not U.S. citizens subject to U.S. embargo and sanction
regulations. In such cases, you cant use your U.S. dollar
denominated credit card in hotels, shops, airline offices, or department
stores in embargoed countries.
These are political
sanctions imposed because of domestic political considerations in
the United States, and nothing more. It is blatantly obvious that
the biggest export of the United States isnt movies or software,
but Big Brother. Totalitarianism doesnt stop at the U.S. border.
with permission from The
Nestmann Group, Ltd.
Freeman is a pseudonym for a former U.S. citizen and friend of Mark
© 2011 Mark