In addition to the opening of embassies in
Washington and Havana this week, the U.S. and Cuba officially established
a banking relationship with the signing of documents
on July 21 between Banco Internacional de Comercio in Cuba and
Stonegate Bank in Pompano Beach, Fla.
Stonegate had announced in May that it had agreed
to provide banking services for the Cuban government.
“This is another step in terms of normalizing
commercial relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The ability to move money
easily between the two countries will only increase trade and benefit American
companies wishing to do business in Cuba. We’re proud to be part of this
process that is going to benefit both countries in the future,” said David
Seleski, president and CEO of Stonegate Bank.
The move now simplifies matters for tour
operators with programs to Cuba, allowing them to pay for visas for their
clients by check or credit card rather than in cash.
The Cuban Interests Section in Washington (now
the Cuban Embassy) had been without banking services in the U.S. since August