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Trump’s Company Violated Embargo Against Cuba: Report

Donald Trump may have broken the law after it surfaced that he violated the Cuban embargo in 1988 and did business with the Cubans without prior approval from the US government.

The Hill reports:

A company controlled by Donald Trump violated American trade bans by doing business in Cuba under Fidel Castro’s presidency, according to a Newsweek report Thursday.

The company, called Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts at the time, spent at least $68,000 during its 1988 “foray” into Cuba, the report said.

Executives at the company “funneled” the cash for the trip through an American consulting firm called Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corporation.

After the consultants went to Cuba, Seven Arrows helped Trump’s senior officers make the trip and expenses in Cuba look legal by linking it to a charitable effort, according to Newsweek.

But at the time, corporate expenditure in communist Cuba was illegal without the approval of the U.S. government.

Americans and corporations weren’t allowed to spend cash in Cuba. Only a foreign charity or sponsoring group could pay expenses, including travel.

Since Trump Hotels didn’t get a license from the federal Office of Foreign Asset Control before consultants went to Cuba, the trip violated federal law, the report said.

An OFAC official told Newsweek there was “essentially zero” probability the agency would have granted a license to the company.

The payment occurred just before Trump launched a presidential bid in the Reform Party.

During that campaign, he said in Miami he would uphold the embargo and not spend of his companies’ money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was no longer in power.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

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