Event: Cuba Initiative roundtable meeting with US State Department and US Treasury (OFAC) representatives
Date: 21st October 2016
Venue: Foreign and Commonwealth Office
On the 21st October 2016, The Cuba Initiative was delighted to hold a roundtable meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss directly with representatives from the US State Department and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury the difficulties UK businesses face with regard to making legitimate financial transactions between the UK and Cuba.
John Creamer of the US State Department provided a brief overview of policy and administrative developments that have taken place since the normalisation of US relations with Cuba began, before handing over to Senior Sanctions Policy Advisor Samantha Sultoon, who spoke on behalf of OFAC.
Members had the opportunity to put their questions to Ms Sultoon and Mr Creamer, outlining the difficulties that they had encountered, and their experiences of dealing with OFAC to date. The range of sectors represented at the meeting allowed for varied and energetic discussions.
John Creamer has extensive experience in the US State Department, and has worked throughout South and Central America. His previous postings have taken him to Brazil, Colombia and Nicaragua, as well as Haiti and South Africa. He has been extensively involved in negotiations between the US and Cuba, and recently co-chaired the inaugural Economic Dialogue between the two nations, at which topics including trade and investment, labour and employment issues, and intellectual property rights were discussed. He has also formed part of the US delegation at meetings of the Bilateral Commission of Cuba and the US.
Samantha Sultoon works within OFAC, where she has contributed to developing the framework for reformed US economic policy towards Cuba, focussing in particular upon the relaxation of sanctions. She previously worked for the World Bank in the Office of Global Security, specialising in political, economic and security issues in the Middle East and North Africa.