The United States will allow to sue Cuban government entities, but protects foreign firms for now
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that he will remain suspended for a month plus Title III of the Helms-Burton Act because it is in the "national interests" of the United States and will accelerate a "transition to democracy" in Cuba .
The suspension, which will expire on April 17, prevents Cuban-Americans from claiming before the United States courts properties that were expropriated after the Cuban Revolution.
The US administration explained that the extension of the suspension has an exception, since it will be possible to file lawsuits against companies that are sanctioned by Washington and that are included in a "black list".
Today I announce an exception to the 30-day suspension of #TitleIII of the Libertad Act. We must hold #Cuba accountable and make whole U.S. claimants for assets seized by the Cuban government. Doing business with Cuba is not worth trafficking in confiscated property.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) 4 de marzo de 2019
These companies are those that belong to the Armed Forces or are "under the control" of Cuban intelligence. This also includes personnel who establish "direct financial transactions" that could harm the Cuban people.
On the list are the Cuban Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, the Ministry of the Interior (MININT), as well as a large number of hotels, such as the Cuban chain of Gaviota tourist establishments and establishments of that group, such as the Meliá Marina Varadero.
At first, according to information leaked to the media, the US administration was going to lift the suspension of Title III, which would have allowed to sue some foreign companies operating in Cuba.
Today expect the United States to take the first in a series of steps to hold the regime in #Cuba accountable for its 60 years of crimes & illegality which includes its support for the murderous #MaduroCrimeFamily. Justice is coming. And more to come.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) 4 de marzo de 2019
Cuba’s role in usurping democracy and fomenting repression in Venezuela is clear. That’s why the U.S. will continue to tighten financial restrictions on Cuba’s military and intel services. The region’s democracies should condemn the Cuba regime.— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) 4 de marzo de 2019
Since its creation in 1996, Title III of the Helms-Burton Act has been suspended by all US governments every six months; but, in January, when it was time to renew that cancellation, the Trump administration opted to suspend the provision only for 45 days.
High class Cuban exiles, many of whom are now US citizens, have long claimed the activation of Title III in hopes of recovering property that was expropriated after the Cuban revolution.