Donald Trump’s ‘Cuban Connection’ The Subject Of Newsweek Exposé

The Republican presidential nominee conducted business in Cuba during the U.S. Embargo, according to a bombshell Newsweek report to run this Thursday.

Donald Trump, Republican nominee for the presidency, controlled a company that secretly violated the U.S. embargo on Cuba. According to a bombshell Newsweek report to be released Thursday, Trump’s companies “conducted business in communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency” despite such actions being strictly prohibited by Federal law.

The full excerpt, which first premiered on The Rachel Maddow Show, is reprinted below:

A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings.

In July, a Bloomberg article by Jesse Drucker and Stephen Wicary raised questions about Trump executives’ involvement in Cuba. The Newsweek report promises to delve into specifics:

Documents show that the Trump company spent a minimum of $68,000 for its 1998 foray into Cuba at a time when the corporate expenditure of even a penny in the Caribbean country was prohibited without government approval. But the company did not spend the money directly. Instead, with Trump’s knowledge, executives funneled the cash for the Cuba trip through an American consulting firm called Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corporation. Once the business consultants traveled to the island and incurred the expenses for the venture, Seven Arrows instructed senior officers with Trump’s company, then called Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, on how to make the venture appear legal by linking it after-the-fact to a charitable effort.

The U.S. embargo on Cuba was enacted in 1960, and eased recently by Barack Obama. Trump has come out against lifting the embargo.

The payment by Trump Hotels came just before the New York business mogul launched his first bid for the White House by seeking the nomination of the Reform Party. On his first day of the campaign, he traveled to Miami where he spoke to a group of Cuban-Americans, a critical voting bloc in the swing state. Trump vowed to maintain the embargo and never spend his or his companies’ money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was removed from power. He did not disclose that, seven months earlier, Trump Hotels already had spent money sending consultants on the secret trip to conduct business in Havana.
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