Bruno Rodíguez calls "hostile and irresponsible act" that the US allows lawsuits against the Cuban Government
Havana, Mar 4 (EFE) .- Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez condemned the decision of the US Government on Monday. to suspend only for a month and with limitations a rule that would allow Cuban-Americans to claim properties on the island confiscated more than five decades ago.
"I strongly reject the announcement of the US Department of State to authorize lawsuits, under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, against a list of Cuban companies arbitrarily sanctioned by the Trump government," the foreign minister posted on his Twitter account.
Rechazo enérgicamente anuncio del Dpto. de Estado #EEUU de autorizar demandas, bajo Título III de la Ley Helms-Burton, contra lista de compañías cubanas sancionadas arbitrariamente por el gob. de Trump. Prórroga 30 días en el resto de los casos es inaceptable amenaza vs. el mundo— Bruno Rodríguez P (@BrunoRguezP) 4 de marzo de 2019
This tweet responds to the statement of the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who hours earlier announced that he will keep suspended for one more month the title III of the Helms-Burton law.
La decisión del Dpto. de Estado es un acto hostil e irresponsable que busca recrudecer el bloqueo y asfixiar la economía cubana. Esta es una medida q tiene oposición en el mundo y en el propio #EEUU, cuyos empresarios están en contra del bloqueo y favorecen el comercio con #Cuba— Bruno Rodríguez P (@BrunoRguezP) 4 de marzo de 2019
Title III, which would allow Cuban-Americans to claim before US courts its properties that were nationalized after the 1959 Revolution, has never been applied since its promulgation 23 years ago, as it would generate a complex web of international litigation with companies from different countries that operate in Cuba.
After weeks of threatening to activate this provision, the Donald Trump government announced Monday that it will finally extend its suspension, albeit with one caveat: it will be possible to file lawsuits against those companies included in a "black list".
This "black list" includes entities "under the control" of Cuban intelligence, the Armed Forces or security forces, as well as personnel with "direct financial transactions" that could harm the Cuban people, according to the State Department.
On the other hand, the extension of the suspension of title III in the rest of the cases, mainly foreign companies operating in Cuba, will be only for 30 more days (until now they were renewable terms of six months), which according to the Cuban foreign minister it is an "unacceptable threat against the world".
The new suspension decreed today is 30 days and will expire on April 17, according to the statement from the State Department in Washington.
When Title III was approved in 1996, the European bloc and other countries with business interests on the island were fiercely opposed because they feared that their companies would be sued in the US. and, for this reason, the European Union (EU) denounced Washington before the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The battle ended with the US commitment to keep the rule suspended in exchange for the withdrawal of the complaint.
Cuban exiles of the upper class, many of whom are now US citizens, have long claimed the activation of Title III to recover the fortunes that were expropriated after the Cuban Revolution and for which they were never compensated due to the bilateral political tensions of the time.