Voices around the world continue to condemn new U.S. sanctions on Cuba, in particular the recent activation of the Helms-Burton Act’s Title III.
The government of Mexico reiterated its rejection of the re-activation of this stipulation in violation of international law, and reaffirmed its commitment to legally protect Mexican companies that may be affected. In an official communique, the Ministry of Economy recalled that, in order to counteract the extraterritorial effects of the Helms-Burton, Mexico enacted a law that specifically protects commerce and investment from foreign regulations that contravene international norms, in effect since October 1996.
“Like other countries, Mexico has analyzed the relevant legal procedures to file complaints for violations of international law that the Helms-Burton Act represents,” the Mexican government states.
The Islamic Republic of Iran also confirmed its support for the Cuba. “Washington demonstrated, once again, that it resorts to illegitimate mechanisms to pressure independent countries,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abas Musavi said.
According to Prensa Latina, a professor at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law, Pan Deng, commented that the Trump administration is attempting to pressure Cuba and affecting the entire international community.
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The measures taken by the US government against Cuba could strike new blows to the relationship between both countries, the private sector of the island and US companies today consider a coalition promoting the bilateral approach.
Engage Cuba, a group that seeks the end of the blockade imposed by Washington against the Caribbean country almost 60 years ago, conducted an analysis on the consequences of the actions announced by the Donald Trump administration on April 17, including allowing the total application of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.
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Now that the Donald Trump administration is preparing for the full activation of the Title III of the Helms-Burton’s, designed to block foreign investments in the largest of the Antilles, those same countries remind Washington that they also have legal resources to deal with the aggressiveness of the White House.
The European Union: The Blocking Statute
April 17, 2019
Bronx, NY—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:
“President Trump’s rejection of over two decades of bipartisan consensus on a key piece of U.S. policy toward Cuba will further isolate the United States from our Latin American and European allies and diminish our ability to promote democracy in Cuba and Venezuela. Sadly, this decision will do nothing to resolve U.S. property claims in Cuba—an important goal toward which we must continue to strive.
“Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all waived Title III of the Helms-Burton Act for so long because they rightly concluded that it would harm U.S. interests, American businesses, and the Cuban people. It will also damage our partnerships with key allies, including Canada and the European Union, by opening up another front in the Trump trade war as it opens the United States to litigation in the WTO. The losers in the latest round of Donald Trump’s cowboy diplomacy will be the American people who will suffer the real-life consequences of retaliatory trade measures.
“And, there are very serious repercussions of this decision on our cooperation with allies in support of democracy in Venezuela. instead of understanding the impact of today’s action on our partners, the Trump Administration has chosen to isolate itself from those in the EU and the Americas with whom we should be coordinating. I urge the President to rethink this ill-advised decision and self-inflicted wound.”
Title III of the Helms-Burton Act allows Americans to file suit in U.S. courts against those “trafficking” in properties confiscated in Cuba. Its reach is extraterritorial and allows suits to move forward against foreign defendants.
As part of an ambitious Ministry of Tourism (Mintur) development plan through 2030, this year some 3,805 hotel rooms should be completed across the country and another 5,000 will be renovated and improved.
Currently, according to José R. Daniel Alonso, Mintur’s general director of development, investment by Cuban state enterprises and international companies are both being promoted to expand lodging capacity.
“We are doing so in important tourist poles like Varadero, where there is investment by the Almest furniture enterprise and Mintur’s real estate company, Inmotur. In this case, we can mention the Oasis and Varadero Internacional hotels. Meanwhile, in this destination, other investment projects are in the preparation stage,” Daniel Alonso reported.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Rick Crawford (R-AR-1) and Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) introduced the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act (H.R. 1898), legislation that would make it easier for American farmers to sell to our island neighbor by removing arbitrary restrictions on private financing for U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba.
Cuba imports nearly 80% of its food, which amounts to almost $2 billion annually, creating a huge potential export market for American farmers only 90 miles off our shores. However, U.S. financing restrictions limit the ability of U.S. producers to compete for market share. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the proposed legislation would save U.S. taxpayers $690 million over 10 years.