On March 7, the Interests Section paid a Cuban security firm $70,580 for "transportation/processing of cash."
The money went to SEPSA, also known as Servicios Especializados de Protección, S.A.
American diplomats spend money in Cuba every day. While some of the money goes into private hands, some winds up supporting socialist enterprises.
U.S. officials in Havana often have no choice but to deal with Cuba's state-run companies.
From October 2012 through April 2014, the Interests Section paid unspecified fuel dealers $336,100, records show.
|Screenshot from SEPSA website|
In 2003 and 2004, they paid $47,334 to a now-defunct Cuban company called Cubalse. The money went for everything from office supplies and shelving to fuel and housing costs.
During that same time period, the Interests Section spent $28,684 at Tiendas Panamericanas, a chain of state-run stores owned by Cimex, Cuba's largest commercial corporation. Purchases ranged from waste disposal equipment and appliances to office supplies.
Interests Section employees also turn to contractors from the United States. From September 2009 through March 2014, for instance, they paid industrial supplier W.W. Grainger, Inc., of Lake Forest, Ill., $213,468 for a range of products and services, everything from plumbing fixtures and lamps to air conditioning equipment, paint, indoor lighting and welding equipment.
Diplomats sometimes fly in contractors to carry out specialized tasks. Such was the case in February 2014 when the Interests Section signed an agreement with Rosa Lowinger & Associates of Los Angeles.
To restore an antique dining room set.
Related: "Did eagle get a makeover?"