NFT Cuba art center blocked by OpenSea due to US sanctions

OpenSea, one of the largest NFT marketplaces, has announced a ban on digital artists from countries subject to US sanctions. The news came at the end of December after Cuban artists’ initiative NFTcuba.ART tweeted that OpenSea had disabled its profile.

NFTcuba.ART stated that while this affected local Cubans, it had indirect consequences for other nationalities who must now suffer under US sanctions.

On this occasion, OpenSea said that this was done in accordance with US sanctions law, which can be very harsh on companies that are found to bypass them.

Moreover, sanctions are more than just federal policy. Instead, they are a series of presidential decrees and federal regulations enshrined in federal codes. Of course, this complicates them, especially since Cuba has been on the sanctions list since Castro first seized power in the 60s.

While OpenSea said the move was to ensure compliance, the Cuban artists said they were never told why their accounts were deleted. More embarrassingly, Cuban expatriates like the founder of NFTCuba.ART and many of the artists using the platform were subject to these bans.

The United States has imposed a string of sanctions against Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Russian Federation — the last of which was subject to more sanctions in 2022 due to the ongoing Ukrainian invasion.

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