EU Vows to Respond if US Measures on Cuba Hit European Firms

The European Union’s top Foreign Affairs official, Federica Mogherini, during a visit to Havana in January 2018.  Photo: Irene Perez /

HAVANA TIMES – The European Union “is ready to protect” its interests if the United States ratchets up sanctions against Cuba that could hit European firms, the bloc’s executive warned Wednesday, as a new front threatens to emerge in EU-US trade tensions, reported dpa news.

Washington is expected Wednesday to announce that it will tighten its measures against Cuba by allowing US nationals to sue foreign firms over property lost following the Cuban Revolution.

The move could overshadow efforts by Brussels and Washington to launch talks on a free trade deal aimed at ending the bilateral tariffs spat.

Technically, the move centers on the Helms-Burton Act from 1996. The US has regularly suspended part of the act relating to foreign firms, known as Title III. Washington now plans to end that suspension.

“The EU reiterates its strong opposition to the extraterritorial application of unilateral restrictive measures which it considers contrary to international law,” said European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein.

“The EU is ready to protect European interests, including European investments and the economic activities of EU individuals and entities in their relations with Cuba, if these were to be affected,” he added.

The US measures, motivated in part by frustration at Havana’s support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, would effectively make it riskier for companies to do business in Cuba.

The US is seeking Maduro’s ouster, after he was reelected last year in elections widely considered to be undemocratic, including the banning of the main opposition candidates from participating. He is accused of a violent opposition crackdown, as Venezuela undergoes a humanitarian crisis.

Washington imposed a full trade embargo on Cuba in 1962. The Helms Burton Act is in part designed to have the embargo hit companies from third countries doing business in Cuba, especially if they have any business interests in the United States.

11 thoughts on “EU Vows to Respond if US Measures on Cuba Hit European Firms

  • April 26, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Well said

  • April 26, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Check your history and you will find that it was Russia not the US that inflicted the greatest losses on the Nazis. Stalin said that the UK provided the time by winning the Battle of Britain even before the USA joined in (actually Hitler declared war after Pearl Harbour). The US then provided the money and equipment but Russia provided the manpower. It was a joint effort and any claims that the UK or the USA won WWII on its own is not only inaccurate but an insult to the tens of millions who lost their lives fighting and resisting the curse of fascism which sadly seems to be on the rise again in the very countries that fought to destroy it.

  • April 24, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you for the brilliant educational comment!!!

  • April 24, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    Bunch of lies and misguidance. U.S lost its place it used to have in this world from unilateral aggressions and imperialistic endeavor it engaged for the last 15 years. U.s.a is just a shame for us Americans and the world. Viva Cuba the country that ensured medically all it’s people. Not one person is homeless in that island. The best public education is free to all its citizens: elementary, secondary and higher education. This is a real society for humans. Love it!

  • April 23, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    The American government has been bullying Cuba since Cubans beat them at their own game at the Bay of Pigs. They will never forget losing that skirmish, and will never forgive the loss of their homes and businesses when Fidel took over and gave them to the poor (for .25/mo. rent) They want revenge even though, generations later, they live successful lives in the U.S.A. Petty, petty, petty. They punish the government of Cuba but worse, the Cuban people, highly educated, still with a glowing spirit and joie de vivre you will never see in the U.S. Now they want to punish the E.U. and Canada and Mexico for helping Cubans survive their nasty, punishing policies.

    We watch America, from around the world, falling apart in acts of violence, racism, xenophobia, out of control gun deaths by the thousands, lack of health care for the poor, a faltering middle class and a dysfunctional government that is disrespected around the world by every democratic country that exists. America, heal thyself. Leave Cuba alone, a small country who did nothing to you in over 60 years. Forget that you lost at the Bay of Pigs. Forget that you lost your homes and businesses. Get over your lost pride and yourself. Forgive and forget. Get back to where you once belonged, i.e. a country of good people who helped people, not hurt them. Send Cuba love, not hate. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Try it. This expression exists for a reason. And if you don’t understand that idea, practice what Christ taught: love thy neighbor as thyself.

  • April 18, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Do you? Because I’m Cuban and I can tell you the most horrendous crime committed by the Castro’s dictatorship. Cuban people wants freedom and the end of the Castro monarchy.

  • April 18, 2019 at 9:44 am

    If it wasn’t for the Americans??? Typical yanks, came in at the last hour and take all the glory!!!!!

  • April 17, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    The true crime against humanity Mr. Maj Tucker is the ignorance spewed out by people like you who advocate a failed policy against Cuba. And bullying a country that has never been a military threat to the U.S. Fortunately most of these companies can afford to hire good lawyers that will hopefully protect them from lawsuits. Also the litigants will have a very difficult time collecting any money that might be awarded to them.

  • April 17, 2019 at 11:49 am

    You don’t know what you’re talking about!

  • April 17, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Now we see what the paid and suffering was allowed to continue on the Cuban people. UK, Spain, Canada and others are guilty of allowing the Castro’s to in prison a people for more than 50 year. It’s time for the world to come together and free the world of socialism by what ever means necessary. Its time to cut the head of the snake off. This is a true crime against HUMANITY! Shame on you UK, Spain, Canada!!! All the countries in the third world that kill there people receive large amounts of money from these three countries that is diverted to the repression of there people. If it were not for the USA everyone would be speaking German and Japanese. Remember who the true heroes are who continue day after day to try and right the wrongs. Some times not perfect but always humble. GOD BLESS THE USA!

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