Thursday, 02 May 2019 22:53

First U.S. Demands after Activation of Law Against Cuba

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First U.S. Demands after Activation of Law Against Cuba Photo: PL

The cruise line Carnival Cruise Lines is today the first target of lawsuits following the activation in the United States of Title III of the controversial Helms-Burton Law against Cuba.


Washington.- Several media reported this Thursday, that in a federal court in Miami, two legal actions were filed against the company Carnival Cruise Lines, based in the state of Florida, after the administration of Donald Trump authorized the realization of such procedures.

Helms-Burton, which was approved by the US Congress in 1996, codifies the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington almost 60 years ago against the island.

Despite its entry into force at that time, all administrations since then suspended the application of Title III of that law, which allows US nationals to sue those who 'traffic' with 'American properties' in Cuba.

Through this mechanism there is the possibility of promoting action in U.S. courts against persons and entities, including third countries, that invest in Cuban territory on nationalized properties after the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959.

According to the texts of the claims of this day, one of the plaintiffs is Javier García Bengochea, who is identified in the document as owner of the port of the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba.

The other lawsuit is filed in the name of Havana Docks Corporation, a company that claims to be the 'legitimate owner of certain commercial real estate' in the Port of Havana, which belongs to Michael Behn.

This morning for the first time the US government has given these people the opportunity to file a lawsuit in a US court, said Bob Martinez, attorney for both claimants, to journalists at the entrance of the court, according to the agency AFP.

Several legal experts argue that the scope of application of Title III, which has been rejected by many sectors of the United States and by many nations, given its extraterritorial nature, will depend on the interpretation that the courts make of the language of the regulations.

Robert Muse, an expert lawyer in laws related to the island, said in a recent interview with Prensa Latina the possibility that American airlines or cruise companies that already have a large activity in the neighboring territory are not in danger of having to comply with a demand.

This is due to a provision of the title by which it is established that transactions related to legal trips to Cuba do not constitute 'traffic', which could be the case of the activities of those firms that have licenses from the Office of Control of Foreign Assets of the Treasury Department.

The activation of the aforementioned section of the Helms-Burton Act is part of the aggressive policy adopted by the Trump administration against the Antillean territory, and its main objective is to discourage foreign investment on the island, whose government has reiterated that the legislation is inapplicable. (PL)

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