Latin American Development Bank May Face U.S. Sanctions Over Cuba Ties

By Brian Orsak and Carla Valero

A new regional development bank intended to help Latin America maintain independence from the U.S.-based World Bank may be sanctioned by the U.S. government because of its ties to Cuba, former government officials said. Banco del Alba, launched Jan. 26 by Venezuela President Hugo Chavez and three of his allies as an alternative to the World Bank and a U.S.-backed free trade pact, includes among its members Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba, a country that has long been the subject of U.S. sanctions. Because the degree of Cuba's involvement in the organization remains unclear, "U.S. financial institutions should be following the...