It all really started when in April 2003 American troops found $762 million in US dollars banknotes belonging to Saddam Hussein. They were able to trace these notes to UBS and consequently the Swiss bank was fined $100 million by Swiss and US banking authorities. Additionally to the $762 million, UBS provided Cuba with $3.9 billion in US notes, $1 billion for Iran and $30 million for Libya.
Congressional investigators probing whether the world's largest "wealth management" firm, UBS, may have laundered $5 billion in American currency for state sponsors of terrorism are pushing for the American government to block or seize any assets that may be held by the Castro regime at the Swiss bank's vault in Zurich, according to correspondence obtained by The New York Sun.
According to congressional staff familiar with discussions between UBS and investigating congressmen, the Swiss bank has yet to indicate that the Cuban account - fed by monthly shipments of American banknotes flown from Havana to Zurich on a jet designated by the Castro regime specifically for that purpose, according to congressional investigators - has been closed.
On October 22, 2004, six months after UBS paid the $100 million fine, the International Financial Action Task Force Against Money Laundering adopted Resolution IX, which, according to a Task Force press release, "calls on countries to stop cross-border movements of currency and monetary instruments related to terrorist financing and money laundering and confiscate such funds."
Three days later, on October 25, Mr. Castro announced that he was ending the use of American dollars as the currency of the Cuban economy, encouraging the use of Euros, Swiss francs, and other foreign banknotes instead.
Perhaps Zapatero infatuation with the Lider Maximo is not so platonic, after all.