Digital accommodation platform Airbnb pays US fine for accepting guests in Cuba
The digital accommodation platform Airbnb paid a fine imposed by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Monday for accepting guests in Cuba and violating sanctions on the island.
According to the government agency, the tour company accepted payments from Americans who travelled to the Caribbean country outside the 12 categories authorised by the White House.
The Treasury Department, to which OFAC belongs, said Monday in a statement that Airbnb agreed to pay $91,000 to settle its potential civil liability for the apparent violation.
Former National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama (2009-2017) Ben Rhodes called the fine “stupid, counterproductive and Trumpian” for denying Americans the ability to facilitate income directly to Cubans and establish connections between our people.
Since 2015 the company launched its services in Cuba, but restrictive measures subsequently adopted under then-president Donald Trump (2017-2021) and maintained under the current administration of Joe Biden, limit the scope of its business.
The year 2021 ended for Havana with Washington’s blockade intensified with the 243 provisions adopted by Trump to suffocate the largest of the Antilles, 55 of them in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic.
In his election campaign, Biden assured that he would reverse the Republican sanctions that harm Cuban families, restore travel and address issues of mutual interest with the government of the Caribbean country, but the hostile policy remains intact.