>No Cash, No Cigars, No Sovereignty

>Naah, this doesn’t seem like an amazing overstepping of legal or moral boundaries or anything. Nope, not at all. US snubs out legal cigar transaction

Authorities in the US have refused to return 137,000 kroner that was confiscated from a Danish policeman who attempted to legally purchase Cuban cigars from Germany.

Torben Nødskouv intended to resell the cigars through his small business Cigarhuset and made the transaction in dollars with a Hamburg-based distributor. But the transaction, which was automatically routed through the US, was picked up by American authorities who froze the money, arguing that the transaction violated the American trade embargo with Cuba.

If you’re anything like me, right about now the logical part of your brain is going but but but! There are two people making a legal transaction that through no fault of either of them just so happened to get routed through a country that should have nothing whatsoever to do with it! What’s the problem?

And if there is a problem, it should be easy to fix, right? Just return the guy’s money, tell him not to route any of his dirty Cuba supporting cash through your sacred financial system ever again and send him on his way. Seems reasonable enough.

Well, nuh-uh!

We’re dealing in logic, but that’s not how this stuff works. The United States has decided that they’re keeping his money, for reasons that make about as much sense as their snagging it in the first place.

A US treasury official has told the Copenhagen Post that the Cuban Assets Control Regulations generally prohibit U.S banks and financial institutions from providing financial services related to transactions involving Cuba. They would not comment on individual cases.

So yeah, then why not kick the transfer back with that explanation and let them find another way? I get that the U.S. has a debt problem, but there have to be better ways to create extra cash than outright theft from citizens of other countries.

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