A small bank in Florida has become the first US bank to open a bank account for the Cuban government. A senior US State Department official made the statement, but refused to identify the bank, saying the Cuban government would make an announcement soon. However, according to CNBC, Stonegate Bank is the Florida based bank to clear away a major obstacle to re-establish diplomatic relations.
As Cuba and the US started to restore their ties, reestablishing banking operations was one of Cuba’s biggest demands. Without having the government account, Cuba’s Interests Section in Washington needs to pay bills and salaries in cash and must bring in money from Cuba to continue operations.
The news came a day before the the anticipated final meeting between the State Department and Cuban government representatives. The meetings are expected to lead to the announcement of a restoring diplomatic ties between the two countries.
After 53 years of interruption, diplomats began negotiations to open embassies in Washington and Havana to restore ties.