Cuba cuts phone links from United States over tax

Long-distance telephone links from the United States to Cuba went dead on Friday as the Cuban government apparently followed through on threats to retaliate against the United States because U.S. carriers have not been paying a new 10 per cent tax imposed by Cuba on the long-distance telephone rate from the United States to Cuba.

AT&T Corp. discovered Friday that links with the Communist island nation had stopped operating, according to company representative Claudia Jones.

“We regret the action by the Cuban government to prevent people from talking to their relatives in Cuba, and we hope they reconsider,” Jones said. “We’re going to do all we can, as long as it’s in keeping with U.S. government guidelines, to try to get calls to go through.”

To the extent that it is legal to do so, AT&T will redirect calls through third countries, Jones said.

AT&T, in Basking Ridge, N.J., can be reached at