The Main Unresolved Disputes between Cuba and the US

By Isaac Risco

Cuba EEUU (3)HAVANA TIMES — Despite the agreement to re-establish diplomatic ties signed this Monday, the United States and Cuba have many unresolved disputes after more than fifty years of ideological conflict, DPA reported.

Below are the main differences that could make the normalization of relations between the two countries difficult for some time to come.


Lifting of the embargo: The demand regarding the harsh economic and commercial sanctions that the United States has been applying on the island for decades is Cuba’s main battle horse. The embargo, which has governed relations almost entirely since 1962, is also widely rejected by the international community. In its 2014 “Report on the Blockade,” Cuba estimated the total damages caused by the embargo at 116.88 billion dollars. In January of this year, President Raul Castro spoke of the need for “fair compensation” for the damages caused by the embargo, without offering any further details.

US programs and support for Cuban dissidents: In the same speech, Castro demanded that Florida radio and television broadcasts aimed at the island – many of which are financed by US government programs “for the democratization of Cuba” – cease entirely. Havana is also critical of the support Washington offers dissidents on the island, such as the independent journalist courses offered at its diplomatic facilities. Cuba accuses government opponents of being “mercenaries” intent on destabilizing the country.

Return of Guantanamo: The controversial naval base on Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay, on the island’s easternmost territory, is under the control of the United States by virtue of a lease agreement signed in 1903. Havana demands that this territory be returned to Cuba, but Washington refuses to do so, pointing out the perpetual nature of the lease agreement, which Cuba has not recognized since 1959.


Human right situation in Cuba: On several occasions, the United States has underscored that it will continue to criticize the civil liberties situations in Cuba and demanding rights for the island’s political opposition.

On announcing the historical rapprochement with Cuba on December 17 last year, President Barack Obama stressed that his administration would continue “openly addressing differences” with Cuba on issues of “democracy and human rights.”

Claims arising from expropriations following the Cuban revolution: Thousands of US companies and citizens demand compensation from the Cuban State for the seizure of properties following the revolution of 1959.

The US Department of Justice commission that addresses these types of claims against foreign governments has to date approved 5,913 claims related to Cuba. The amount is over 1.9 billion dollars at the time of expropriation, the equivalent of 7 billion dollars today, The New York Time estimates.

8 thoughts on “The Main Unresolved Disputes between Cuba and the US

  • Give it time and the embargo will be lifted, and all disputes will be settled with some give and take from both sides.

    All the nay sayers will always spew their negative poison, no matter how fast this process takes place. And yes, Cuba will probably become much more commercialized eventually, but I’m sure the remote areas will preserve their purity and way of life for quite some time, and remind us all of what is beautiful about Cuba.

    Viva la Cubanos.

  • The U.S.ofA is a Country with many socioeconomic viruses slowly killing many nations and the union carbide disaster in India really stands out as an example of this . Even today after decades the new born are doomed because of the Gassing in Bhopal . The use of bribery and corporate bullying are the tools of their trade and can not be forgotten or ignored.
    The truth is what will set them free and transfering dollars is no absolution for the impact of greed on the worlds populations suffering from enviromental destruction of biblical proportions as Pope Francis has recently proclaimed.
    While their own Constitution does not provide any mention of Democracy but rather government for the people they fail to recognize Cuban advantages such as healthcare , civil equality, no personal debt,and true global leadership on the enviroment.
    The people of Greece are experiencing instability and interference , the inventors of Democracy, and I wish them well as they too look for the truth. The Cuban system has benefitted the people and I would say could benefit the entire global system perhaps the Greeks will come to that conclusion and form a system like Cuba or China or others who solve problems.Sustainability is the key to that calculation.The problem is the corporate equation to interfere and mislead populations and cause government that is not for the people but for corporations like union carbide.Human rights is also a dead issue with corporations.
    That should settle a couple of the U.S. of A assertions and the Cuban request for reperations is the elephant left in the room and by the way uncontrolled use of
    recording devices is denying the populations globally any privacy or freedom
    of speech as individuals are tormented by information mishandled by the media and should not be allowed in public ,I dont have a recording device on my phone or a camera and people around me have freedom from privacy invasion by individuals the average individual should be protected from invasions that are meant to disrupt , look at Egypt or the Ukraine they wish they could go back and they dont even realize that they were decieved by organized foriegn interests that lead them to doom and gloom .The information controlled by government and committee has purpose and is handled discreetly as it should be .While governments like Cuba and China solve problems like disease, the corporations are denying populations the freedom to government for the people and we as a global community need this if we are to have a future at all. George Washingtons rebels knew God and understood back in the day democracy is the biggest liar wins and has proven to be corrupted by greed and was not included.
    It is better to follow the represntitives from the almighty one and only God as calculated by committee voting like the Vatican uses when voting by committee.
    Cuban leadership has served Cuba well and if not for the illegal embargo Cuba would have been much better.
    Thank You

  • Also missed in the list of issues are the fugitives from US justice who are living in Cuba under the protection the Castro regime. Chesimard/Assata Shakur is just one such criminal, but there are others which the US government want extradited.

    One other issue is the matter of property seized by the Castro regime from Cubans who went into exile. This is a separate matter from US owned property in Cuba. These exiles want their property back and will file cases to get it.

  • The embargo simply protects U.S. citizens and companies from loosing money while dealing with an unfunded group of people that control Cuban economy. You only have to collect cash for your products before they can be shipped to Cuba, Go down to the Miami airport and watch people taking, literally tons of goods on commercial flights everyday, 4 times a day!!!

  • It is not just the 6,000 U.S. citizens and companies, there was about 6,000 other entities whose title to property that must be acknowledged. Obama cannot dictate the resolution of this problem. Socialist ideas are good at raising taxes, but do not work well in building economies.

  • The US still has an unresolved dispute with the descendents of colonists loyal to the crown who had their property seized during the American Revolution. What’s good for the goose………………

    Godfrey–Milliken Bill

  • You are way, way, way ahead of the reality which is that apart from opening embassies nothing has changed. There are still restrictions placed by the US on American citizens visiting Cuba, the embargo remains in place and the people of Cuba are still under the dictatorship of the Castro family regime. The day to day life of Cubans has not changed except that the cost of living is increasing, but the average monthly pittance of $20.68 and pension of $8 remain static.

  • You missed the repeal of the Cuban Adjustment act (including the wet feet-dry feet policy), which most likely will be the next one going down given the normalization of bilateral relationships.

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