Steve Marshall is an English travel agent. He lives in Spain, and he sells trips to Europeans who want to go to sunny places, including Cuba. In October, about 80 of his Web sites stopped working, thanks to the United States government.The sites, in English, French and Spanish, had been online since 1998. Some, like http://www.cuba-hemingway.com, were literary. Others, like http://www.cuba-havanacity.com, discussed Cuban history and culture. Still others — http://www.ciaocuba.com and http://www.bonjourcuba.com — were purely commercial sites aimed at Italian and French tourists.
“I came to work in the morning, and we had no reservations at all,” Mr. Marshall said on the phone from the Canary Islands. “We thought it was a technical problem.”
It turned out, though, that Mr. Marshall’s Web sites had been put on a Treasury Department blacklist and, as a consequence, his American domain name registrar, eNom Inc., had disabled them. Mr. Marshall said eNom told him it did so after a call from the Treasury Department; the company, based in Bellevue, Wash., says it learned that the sites were on the blacklist through a blog.