As the end of the Castro regime draws closer, there will be a lot of issues on the table that remain to be resolved between the United States and the future government of Cuba before full diplomatic relations are re-established.
One of these issues includes the more than $7 billion that Cuba owes Americans for unlawfully confiscated property. This issue has been studied, re-studied, and even litigated. And there have even been some folks that, quixotically, argue Cuba should not be required to compensate Americans for these losses.
Cuba keeps trying to punt the matter. So do advocates of easing sanctions on the current regime. But this is one issue that is not going to go away. Nor should it. The law and precedent are clear, Cuba must to compensate Americans for properties that it took from them many years ago.
No one was really paying attention to this issue, at least not until the last few years. We were doing some digging and found a few websites that agree. There is also a slide-share presentation (embedded in this post) that provides a good overview of the issue.
- American Certified Claims – Confiscated U.S. Properties in Cuba (Facebook page)
- Confiscated in Cuba (website by an anonymous user)
- Certified Cuba Claims (older, but good informational site)
- 1898 (Spanish citizens in Spain with claims)
If you’re working for a foreign company not subject to U.S. laws and you’re company is exploring investing in Cuba, make sure the powers that be think again. We also believe that even under existing U.S. laws and regulations, certain licensed U.S. transactions may conflict with Title III and Title IV of Helms-Burton as well. In other words, American companies may be unwittingly trafficking. We’ll have more to say about all these items in the weeks ahead.
You will see more about this issue as the transition process picks up.
Folks in this town keep avoiding this issue. That will need to change soon enough.