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Cubans working in Jamaica are again free to shop at membership retailer PriceSmart, according to the publication The Gleaner. Earlier this year, PriceSmart suspended accounts of residents and staff of the Cuban embassy on Jamaica. The company said it was complying with United States law prohibiting transactions with citizens of Cuba who do not have permanent residency in Jamaica or another country.

The Cuban ambassador to Jamaica labeled the move criminal. He said it was based on U.S. law, but a United Nations resolution calls for an end to any economic and financial embargo against Cuba. Now PriceSmart has formally told the Cuban embassy that it has been authorized to sell merchandise to Cuban diplomats and consular officers and their dependents.

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Comments

Ken Harrison June 17, 2014 @ 10:54 a.m.

Hey Don, for those less knowledgeable that you or I, please add the San Diego connection to PriceSmart,

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Don Bauder June 17, 2014 @ 4:31 p.m.

Ken Harrison. Mea culpa. After Price Company merged with Costco and the headquarters went to the Seattle metro area, Sol Price and his son Robert founded PriceSmart, to put warehouse/membership stores in Latin American countries. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh June 17, 2014 @ 8:25 p.m.

Maybe I'm just very dense, but this controversy was never clear, and this resolution isn't any clearer. Just whom was barred by PriceSmart? And now, just who can shop there who was barred? Was this limited to those associated with the Cuban embassy, or was it any Cuban in Jamaica? Whichever it was, I doubt that the company would have had any trouble with the US government if it let Cubans spend their money there. How many other US businesses are in countries that have Cubans present? Hundreds, I'd guess. Do all of those operations turn Cubans away? A few might, but more likely due to personal distaste for the Castro regime than any legal excuse. It all comes across as a Caribbean tempest in a teapot.

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Don Bauder June 17, 2014 @ 8:41 p.m.

Visduh: In April, PriceSmart, quoting U.S. law, said it had to suspended accounts of staff and residents of the Cuban embassy in Jamaica. The Cuban ambassador to Jamaica said the move was criminal, saying that a United Nations resolution called for an end to any economic embargo against Cuba and superseded U.S. law. Then came negotiations and an announcement that Cuban embassy personnel and families could now shop at PriceSmart in Jamaica. I don't know whether the U.S. conceded that U.N. law trumped U.S. law. I think all parties just decided to settle the matter without getting into a donnybrook. Best, Don Bauder

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