Trump Administration continues its attack on Cuba


 

Old American car drives near the Cuban telecommunications company ETECSA building in Havana, on February 28, 2019. – The European Union as well as Cuba faces a nervous wait as the countdown to US President Donald Trump’s March 17 deadline to activate sanctions against the Caribbean island nation approaches. Trump has broken with two decades of precedence in threatening to activate the Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which extended the US embargo to apply to foreign companies trading with Cuba. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE / AFP) (Photo credit should read YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)

On March 4th, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo announced the United States has suspended Title III of the 1996 Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) against Cuba.

The move is another twist of the administration’s zeal to thwart any progress made by the Obama administration regarding rebuilding relations between the two countries.

Ironically, Title III had been waived by presidents since 1996 and had been renewed consistently until the announcement by Pompeo.  The act essentially allows Cubans who fled the country and landed in the United States following the 1959 revolution to sue in an attempt to reclaim land and property which was claimed by the government.  Whether they will be successful in court is undefined at this time.

 

While the move appears pretty straight-forward, many international experts have a different perspective.  Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean and known for its independence and endurance.   In addition to being an ally to communist regimes, they have been a big supporter of Venezuela and their support of the Maduro government.

The 1959 Revolution resulted in those not supporting the new regime to flee leaving  property and other assets which the government used to rebuild the country.  No doubt the issue is controversial and bitter feelings still exist from those who were exiled.  However, some view the Trump Administration’s action as basic retaliation for the country supporting someone in another country who they do not support.  As mentioned Pompeo indicated the move will be revisited in 30 days.

Like many things with this administration, it is unclear how many lawsuits may be brought or their probability of success.