Category Archives: Helms-Burton Act

A multitude of voices against the Helms-Burton Act

A multitude of voices against the Helms-Burton Act
More than 400 global figures have signed a statement denouncing the United States’ activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act against Cuba

Author: Internacional news staff | informacion@granmai.cu
may 23, 2019 12:05:49

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Photo: Martirena
More than 400 global figures have signed a statement denouncing the United States’ activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act against Cuba.

According to teleSUR, the statement entitled “Respect for International Legality,” states that such an application seriously intensifies the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba. It also notes that the United States has once again broken the elementary rules of International Law by awarding domestic law an extraterritorial nature.

The document stressed that the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act marks a clear setback in the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries, as announced in 2014 by Raúl Castro and Barack Obama. “We call on U.S. society, and citizens, peoples and governments of the world, of any political tendency, to express their condemnation of this measure that affects the respect and friendship that should prevail among nations,” the text reads.

The signatories also demand that President Donald Trump eliminate this legislation and finally end the unjust blockade, imposed against Cuba for 60 years. “Neither blockades nor walls. The planet is one and belongs to all,” it concludes.

IN CONTEXT:

What does Title III establish?

Title III establishes that companies from third countries will be liable to the former owners of confiscated Cuban properties or to their heirs, for damages for “trafficking” of that property.
It grants those who were not citizens of the United States at the time, whose properties were nationalized or abandoned when they left the country, the right to file claims for compensation.
It provides that United States courts may arbitrate lawsuits based on Title III within the limits of their normal jurisdiction over foreign companies, and empowers the President to suspend the entry into force of said Title, as well as to annul the right to file new lawsuits for “trafficking” at any time.
What legal instruments does the Helms-Burton violate?

Contravenes the United States Constitution and several legal norms of that country.
Violates numerous acts of International Law that regulate political, economic, commercial and financial relations between states.
Goes against freedom of trade and investment, which has generated conflicts with the U.S.’ main trading partners.
Violates the principle of “financial and investment freedom” and “the subordination of subsidiaries to the resident country’s laws.”
Disregards the principle of “respect for the sovereignty of the acts of other nations.”
Does not recognize the free movement of people based on trade.
Goes against bilateral treaties on Investment Protection and bilateral trade agreements with many countries.
Violates the recognized principle that “property ownership is established in accordance with the laws of the country where it is located.”
Title III is unprecedented in U.S legal history.
Congress assumed a judicial function by decreeing that Cuban property confiscations were illegal, when the nationalizations respected the principles of International Law and it was the U.S. government that refused to accept compensation.

The Helms-Burton is not applicable in Cuba

The Helms-Burton is not applicable in Cuba
“The Helms-Burton Act is not applicable in Cuba… because it is a law of the United States and therefore its jurisdiction, its range of action, is the United States… Cuba has a law approved in 1996 that declares the Helms-Burton Act null and void,” said Carlos Fernández de Cossío, the Foreign Ministry’s director for the United States

Yudy Castro Moralesmay 10, 2019 18:05:07

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Photo: José Manuel Correa
“The Helms-Burton Act is not applicable in Cuba; in the first place, because it is a law of the United States and therefore its jurisdiction, its range of action, is the United States. No sovereign country that respects itself would allow the extraterritorial application of a U.S. law in its territory. In addition, in our case, Cuba has a law approved in 1996 that declares the Helms-Burton Act null and void.”

This is how Carlos Fernández de Cossío, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ general director for the United States, explained the situation, which is worth repeating for those with doubts about this famous law’s lack of validity. This legal creation, meant to strangle the Cuban economy, is well-known precisely because of its extraterritoriality, and its disrespect for international law.

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A failed policy dusted off

A failed policy dusted off
Twenty-three years have passed since the Helms-Burton Act was approved. Its authors are barely remembered, but Cuba is still here, free and sovereign, and more committed than ever to our social project

Elson Concepción Pérezfebruary 28, 2019 10:02:36

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Photo: Jose M. Correa
In March of 1996, the U.S. government approved the Helms-Burton Act, intent upon starving Cuba and not content with the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed in 1962. They have yet to learn that Cuba knows how to defend itself, most importantly with our dignity and resistance.

In this country, where things change little if a Democrat or Republican is elected, it was Bill Clinton who signed the Helms-Burton, to appease the most reactionary sectors of the anti-Cuban mafia in South Florida.

Its purpose, from the economic point of view, was to put a brake on foreign investment here, by any means available.

Title III of the law, which the Trump administration has now dusted off, authorizes U.S. nationals to file claims in U.S. courts against any foreigner who “traffics” with properties that were nationalized in Cuba in the 1960s, in a legitimate process that was recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States, and carried out by the Cuban government in full compliance with national and international law.

(Any investor in a Cuban state enterprise with assets that belonged to a U.S. company, 60 years ago, could be targeted. Given the international outcry about such a preposterous law, Title III has been suspended by successive U.S. Presidents since its early years. Breaking with this pattern, Trump recently suspended the provision for only 45 days.)

Twenty-three years have passed since the Helms-Burton Act was approved. Its authors are barely remembered, but Cuba is still here, free and sovereign, and more committed than ever to our social project, as evidenced by the approval of our new Constitution with 86.85% of voters casting a YES ballot.