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Cuban-Related Transactions Banned by PayPal

Submitted by Alex on August 4, 2011 – 6:50 amNo Comment

The 1962 US embargo on all trade and financial transactions with Cuba is a major source of unhappiness for us, American-based cigar aficionados. And, strangely enough, it has come to affect Germany as well.

Almighty eBay and its payment processing subsidiary PayPal banned German sellers from performing Cuba-related transactions. And when some merchants refused to abide by its request, the company based in San Jose, California, had their accounts closed, cutting off their main source of income.

Most of Germany’s media condemned this decision, referring to it as “unlawful”. There is no embargo against Cuba in the European Union, and eBay was fine with transactions involving Cuban cigars and alcohol in the past.

Paypal Cuban embargo

And though more than a few families in Germany were left without any means to support themselves, I can understand why eBay is doing what it is doing. The California-based company skims money off every Paypal transaction and sort of takes part in the trade with Cuba by providing a technology platform for selling Cuban-related goods.

Considering that eBay allowed these transactions in the past, I can only assume that something happened to make Paypal close these operations. Most probably, the feds put pressure on the company about this issue and eBay preferred to do what it was told instead of losing the business.

What is really wrong in this situation is the ridiculous and counterproductive embargo against Cuba that does not allow us to smoke Cuban cigars and should have been revoked a long time ago.

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