Jose Luis Zamora’s family escaped Cuba in 1958 when he was just 9-years-old. In 1985, Mr. Zamora, who goes by his middle name, became a naturalized citizen. Yet, despite having all the proper paperwork and identification, the Dallas, Texas resident has somehow wound up on an obscure government watch list. As WFAA Channel 8 News reports, it’s creating a real nuisance in his life.
This whole ordeal first came to light last week for Mr. Zamora when he went to go purchase a new car. As the dealership did a license check before giving him the keys for a test drive, they discovered that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had flagged his name.
OFAC is a part of the U.S. Treasury Department. OFAC, on their website, says it’s their mission to administer and enforce, “economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States.” Though the Treasury Department has had officials with the same duties since the early 19th century, OFAC only became officially created in 1950 when President Harry S. Truman sought to block, “all Chinese and North Korean assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction,” during the Korean War.
So, why would Mr. Zamora be of any interest to them? It appears to be a case of mistaken identity. The dealership told him the OFAC flag listed him as Colombian. He’s never even stepped foot in Columbia. When WFAA looked into OFAC’s listings, they saw a Jose Hernan Zamora listed and speculate he’s the real person of interest. As you’ll recall, Mr. Zamora’s middle name isn’t “Hernan,” it’s “Luis.”
Mr. Zamora, though easy-going and composed, is nervous about the situation he’s found himself in, telling the station, “It's scary and it worries me, because if I truly, truly need something, am I ever going to get help?" Hours of phone calls have not provided resolution, so he’s currently reaching out to his congressman, Representative Jeb Hensarling (R), for help.
More info: WFAA