Saturday 25th of May 2019

tell him he's dreaming...

Recently, the Trump administration has been gearing up for the overthrow of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro. At the same time, it is directly attacking Maduro’s closest allies as part of its overall foreign policy strategy.The Helms-Burton Act

In mid-April this year, the US State Department announced that it would put into practice a section of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, which will allow lawsuits by US citizens against dozens of Cuban companies and other entities that have found their way onto Washington’s Cuba Restricted List. This will enable Americans to pursue legal claims in the US against companies which operate on properties expropriated by Cuba following the Cuban revolution.

Since the legislation’s inception, every US president since Bill Clinton has suspended the provision due to international backlash (Canada and Europe have significant business holdings in Cuba); and the potential of opening the floodgates to unmanageable litigation (estimated at over 200,000 possible lawsuits).

As we know, however, Trump is no ordinary president. Recall that he once ordered a raid in Yemen that even Obama was reluctant to execute, which ended up being a complete fiasco and resulting in the murder of an eight-year-old American citizen. As such, Trump has allowed the partial activation of this provision, which may open the pathway to further sanctions on the island.

Cuba has often said that it would gladly reimburse the owners of properties nationalized after the revolution, but only if it were in turn reimbursed for billions of dollars’ worth of damages which it has suffered during a 60-year US trade embargo.

While the new US Cuba strategy didn’t go so far as to target foreign investments in Cuba, most of the media are reasonably confident that the Trump administration’s decision is paving the way for doing so in the not-so-distant future.

Unsurprisingly, the European Union (EU) was not on board with this latest move by the Trump administration to isolate yet another country on the world stage, which it views as the “extraterritorial application of unilateral restrictive measures… contrary to international law.” When the law was first enacted, the EU filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and sought to outmaneuver the rules.

“We are writing to respectfully call on the US to adhere to the terms of our agreement and to maintain a full waiver of Title III for EU companies and citizens,” reads a letter from the EU’s Federica Mogherini and Cecilia Malmstrom, sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton. The letter warned that if the US does not honor this request, the EU will look to other means to protect its interests.

While I am no expert on the Helms-Burton Act, one would have to wonder about the international precedent it would set if US courts could exercise jurisdiction over property owned by non-Americans nationalized by a sovereign government. This is particularly true when the country in question has invaded and occupied more countries than I can be bothered to count.


Read more:

gambling in cuba...

Image at top:

Donald Trump expresses his view about Cuba. The Visit Gay Cuba brochure could have inspired the Bay of Pigs, from Gus' useless original picture library. Note the word "Gay" was used to mean "happy" before it became synonym with homosexuality, but this does not stop El Donaldo to express his deep feelings.


Same with the one below: Gambling in Cuba...


gambling in Cuba