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Here is Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier’s response to CUPE’s March 4, 2008, letter expressing concern about an American firm buying the credit card company that provides cards to Credit Union users, especially users travelling to Cuba.

“Canada has formally objected to the extraterritorial application of U.S. law including the Helms-Burton Act and continues to be concerned about the application of such unilateral extraterritorial measures by the United States.

“The Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act (FEMA) prohibits persons in Canada from complying with certain foreign extraterritorial measures that conflict with Canadian law. In particular, the Foreign Extraterritorial Measures (United States) Order, 1992, made under the FEMA, prohibits persons in Canada from complying with the U.S. Helms-Burton Act.

“You may wish to send your complaint directly to the RCMP, which has the responsibility for assessing whether there are sufficient grounds to warrant an investigation under the FEMA and to proceed with charges.

“Note that this suggestion in no way infers a departmental view as to whether the FEMA has been breached. Should you wish to contact the RCMP„ you can direct your inquiries to: Director, RCMP Customs and Excise Branch, 1200 Vanier Parkway, Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0R2.”

Note that the Helms-Burton Act prohibits companies, including Canadian companies doing business in the U.S., from doing business in Cuba.