In yet another episode in the escalation of aggression by the current U.S. administration against Cuba, as of today, lawsuits can be filed in U.S. courts against multinational companies that operate on land or real estate nationalized in Cuba.
The activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act is the legal mechanism that gives the green light to these actions, after it was postponed for more than two decades due to warnings from various parts of the world and the United States about the consequences it could have for the U.S. legal system and economy.
Title IV of the legislation, which denies U.S. visas to businessmen and their families who use property that is the subject of a claim, will also begin to apply this Thursday.
On April 17, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, national security advisor to President Donald Trump, made the announcements of the intensification of the blockade, which in addition to the application of these two Helms-Burton titles, included a new set of sanctions against Cuba aimed at limiting U.S. travel to the Island, the sending of remittances and the financial operations of the Largest of the Antilles.
Both pronouncements were received with disappointment and reproaches by the international community and U.S. politicians, who consider these steps as regrettable and with negative consequences for the Cuban people, third countries and U.S. interests.
These actions are part of a sustainable increase in the aggressiveness of the United States towards Cuba, taking relations to a level of deterioration as never before. Among the closest events are the breaking of a major league agreement with the Cuban Baseball Federation and the sanctions against ships transporting Venezuelan crude to Cuba.
Canada, Mexico and the European Union, among others, announced that they will protect the interests of their companies and nationals by all means, including the filing of lawsuits before the World Trade Organization and the application of its antidote laws, approved since 1996.
In the same year that the Helms-Burton Act came into force, the Cuban Parliament passed Law 80 on the Reaffirmation of Cuban Dignity and Sovereignty, making U.S. legislation inapplicable in accordance with the legal system of the Largest of the Antilles.
Despite its convoluted legal language and all the formalities that were fulfilled at the time it was approved, Helms-Burton is illegal, even in accordance with the very essence of the American legal system. A number of people have pointed out that Congress has exceeded its powers with it and has assumed a judicial function that does not correspond to it when it decrees that the Cuban confiscations were illegal.
In the same way, the rule contradicts other North American legal texts by decreeing sanctions designed for wartime when there is no military belligerency between Washington and Havana.
Helms-Burton is illegal under the protection of international legal bodies such as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1948, and the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), which considers economic aggression a crime.
It contravenes universal principles such as sovereign equality, non-intervention and independence, all recognized in the Charter of the United Nations. Likewise, it does not recognize the right of nationalization of States, even though Cuba has always been willing to dialogue on the subject on the basis of sovereign equality.
(Taken from ACN in Spanish)