US to Deal Hard Blow to Cuba on Wednesday, Official Says

The economic situation could worsen considerably with the new US pressure to scare away investors and punish those already operating.  Photo: by Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – The United States will announce a tightening of measures against Cuba on Wednesday, a senior administration official confirmed to dpa news.

The measures would effectively make it riskier for companies to do business in Cuba by setting up grounds for lawsuits over the utilization of properties nationalized by the Castro government following the Communist take-over of the island.

Technically, the move is centered around what is known as the Title III provision of the Helms-Burton Act from 1996, which has been regularly suspended to avoid a legal war.

If implemented, the provision would allow US citizens to sue over property lost following the Cuban Revolution, including by demanding compensation from the current user of those assets, many in the hands of European companies.

The administration has been indicating for some time it may cease the suspensions of the provision, in part stemming from frustration over Havana’s support for President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

The US is seeking Maduro’s ouster. This year Washington began stepping up measures against the Venezuelan state-run oil and gas sectors, trying to block the flow of capital to the government.

Recent sanctions have also included measures targeting trade between Cuba and Venezuela. These included sanctions against sea transport companies that take Venezuelan oil to Cuba.

The US has maintained an embargo on Cuba going back about six decades.

Last month, the US State Department said the Title III suspension would only be kept for another 30 days, with a senior official indicating the administration may then let it be fully implemented.

“We are going to hold the Cuban regime accountable for its confiscation of properties and ensure that there is justice for US claimants,” the official said. Such a move is expected to be announced Wednesday in Miami where it will be cheered by the old guard Cuban exile community.

14 thoughts on “US to Deal Hard Blow to Cuba on Wednesday, Official Says

  • April 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    I agree with you GeeGee. I think about this over and over. How can the so called richest, most powerful country who always pushes for human rights in other countries is doing just the opposite. Trump is making the US look as a big bully to the world. What is the US afraid of that Trump is hell-bent on building his wall. Wrong and hateful policies do no good for anyone. He is definitely NOT making America great again- just the opposite.

  • April 21, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    And who is afraid of ‘ regime change ‘ ? thanks

  • April 21, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Weren’t those corporations that The Cuban Revolution of 1959 confiscated allowed to deduct the confiscated enterprises monetary losses in their income taxes ? One thing I do remember clearly from my school days is that politics and the law don’t always mix well. thanks!

  • April 20, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    USA would be Homeless if the true founders of America have it way.
    What about America kidnapping Black and brown people.

  • April 20, 2019 at 7:25 am

    i agree 100 %….I used to like Trump…Now he is being an asshole

  • April 17, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    I couldn’t have said that better myself. Thank you Nick for posting a statement that makes perfect sense.

  • April 17, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    The disgrace of the U.S. policy toward Cuba has been going on for decades.
    The pretext has always been to invoke some lame reference to ‘democracy’. The reality is the indignation of successive U.S regimes when confronted by a (supposed underling) country that does not bend to the crack of the slavedriver’s whip.
    The USA has historically regarded the non-W.A.S.P part of the Americas in the same way that Europeans used to regard Africans – all they see is profit from exploitation.
    President Obama had the common sense (and the African heritage) to see the bullsh*t for exactly what it was and attempted a thaw.
    Now that this disgusting Liar-in-Chief is wallowing in the comfort White House like a pig wallowing in the comfort it’s own sh*t – who knows where it will end.
    His dirty and cowardly policies regarding Palestine, Yemen etc bring shame the office he holds and to the formidable nation known as the USA.
    I have no massive sympathy for the current Cuban Government, but I would vouch for them over the current U.S regime all day long. 100%.

  • April 17, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    You can not imagine just how much damage these “OLD DIE-HARDS” Cubans have done to the families both in Cuba and in this country. These Old farts (and thank God that they are dying off) have played up to the support of 2 despicable US Senators (Ileana Ros Lethinen and Lincoln Diaz Ballart) whom have by now seen the writing on the wall, and Lincoln went first, and his useless side kick… Ileana soon followed out of the Govt. Glory be!
    But now we have that the “OLD DIE-HARDS” are beginning to feel the squeeze by new laws enacted by Trump! The support for the Republicans have been enormous ever since the Kennedy years but a lot of the old Farts are dying off and the up coming Cuban youth does NOT share the old farts belief. And with the previously mentioned “Lopsided” (Cuban) US Senators… things just might be a little more tolerable for the families of Cubans on both sides.

  • April 17, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Cuba has a completely valid claim for 100s of billions of dollars in damages for the USA’s 60 years of illegal imposition of dozens of economic measures designed purposely to damage the Cuban economy, along with terrorism damages.

  • April 17, 2019 at 10:31 am

    The big winners in this will be the attorneys who get hired to file the lawsuits. They will try to get settlements out of the Canadians and Europeans who have current and long-term interests in Cuba and also have vulnerable assests in the United States.
    The big losers will be the Cuban government which will see its hopes for greater foreign investment diminish.
    The colateral losers will be the general Cuban population as poverty increases accross the board.

  • April 16, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Realize today and tomorrow are THE days to communicate and educate your elected officials. Tomorrow, April 17, is the anniversary of the CIA sponsored invasion at Playa Giron / Bay of Pigs in 1961. This proved to be the most counter productive action taken by the US in Cuban relations. That invasion led to the October missile crisis the following year, Cuba’s close ties to the USSR during the Cold War, and where we are today.

    Educate yourself to communicate with your elected officials to stop more counter productive actions. Elimination of the 5 year multiple visit non-immigrant visas for Cubans has dealt a blow to private businesses in Cuba, their key to economic freedom from their government. Don’t let this Title III threat continue these counter productive steps by the US government.

    Remember there is a small minority of old hard line Cubans in Miami greatly influencing US policy towards Cuba for one simple reason. They take action and speak up. Washington hears their voices because so many of you remain silent. Stop being the silent majority who is left behind.

  • April 16, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    GeeGee: the “Burton bill” you refer to is actually the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 (Helms–Burton Act, Pub.L. 104–114, 110 Stat. 785, 22 U.S.C. §§ 6021–609 which was passed by the US Congress in 1996.

    You as who is going to have the paperwork? These are internationally recognized court judgements with specific monetary amounts which now bear interest. Families still around? These legal documents have recognized owners. An example is the judgement claim of $267,568,413.62 held by Office Depot for one of its predecessor companies ownership of the Cuban Electric Company. Or, the Marriott International owned judgement claim of 181,808,794.14 for their expropriated interest in the Cuban telephone company. You can be assured those companies have not lost the paperwork or forgotten about it.

    No one expects or demands these claims be paid in full. Everyone knows that is impossible. Settlement of these is one of the specifically designated requirements to end Helms Burton. The US government as representative of the holders of these judgement claims previously indicated a desire to settle for a token amount just to move forward. As a part of the Obama effort, the US sent Roberta Jacobson a top level US diplomat to negotiate this and other resolvable issues with Josefina Vidal, a top Cuban diplomat. Cuba refused to pay even a token amount to bring closure to this $9 Billion in claims , instead demanding the US pay Cuba an amount exceeding $121 Billion. Thus Cuba ended the negotiations to end Helms Burton. No one speculates the US will again take the lead in reopening such negotiations after such rebuke.

    The problems between the US and Cuba are resolvable. There are no major economic or political issues involved, just national pride. Admittedly not during the Trump administration, just as they were not during Fidel’s time. But the time will come.

    I encourage you, and others to educate yourself of the actual facts. Then communicate to your elected officials. Most important if you are from the US or Cuba, but no matter what your nationality.

  • April 16, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    This Burton bill is ridiculous… 60 years who’s going to have the paperwork and are families are still around? how are you going to prove it, just another waste of time money. We talked about Venezuela people suffering but now we’re going to make the Cuban people suffer we’re going to put suffering on them amazing. This is one place where I don’t agree with Trump or this policy.

  • April 16, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Let’s see if finally the Castros leave the power and free multiparties elections will held.

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