The activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act attempts, first of all, against the right to life of the Cuban people, said today the rector of the Nicaraguan University of Humanistic Studies (UNEH), Fanor Avendaño.
The right to life of peoples should govern relations between states, hence when a nation sees them violated, as Cuba does with economic ones, their right to life is violated, said the professor in an interview with Prensa Latina.
Beyond the political and ideological discrepancies, he emphasized, the government of the United States does not have the authority, from any point of view, to alter the human rights of the Cuban people with all that the expression implies.
Nor does it hinder the economic development of third countries, nor that of U.S. citizens and companies related to enterprises in those states for having commercial relations with Cuba.
One of the foundations of the Helms-Burton Act is that it ignores the legality of the nationalization process carried out by the Cuban Revolution in the early 1960s, the principle on which Title III is based.
The title, which will be activated on May 2, as announced by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, authorizes any U.S. citizen or company to file lawsuits before U.S. courts to claim compensation for nationalized properties on the Island.
Following this line, the rector of the UNEH made reference to the extraterritorial character of Helms-Burton Act and how much the activation of Title III reinforces this condition, given that they do not know the sovereignty and laws of Cuba and the states, whose companies have business with the Caribbean Island.
The countries that have commercial relations with Cuba will be affected enormously because trade is no longer a bilateral scheme, in a world interconnected in many ways that form of exchange has a multilateral character, which can be very beneficial when it is approached from a fair perspective according to what each one has to offer, he commented.
Avendaño warned that what is proposed under Title III is worrying because the United States and its current president, Donald Trump, sell themselves as friends of democracy and private initiative, ‘however, we see how they torpedo legitimate commercial and economic processes beyond all reason,’ he said.
Renowned constitutional lawyer and expert in international issues, Avendaño commented that scholars follow closely the development of events, especially the policy followed by the Cuban government in this regard.
The government of the Island and its president Miguel Díaz-Canel have shown excellent signs of willingness to establish respectful relations with the Trump administration, and that position should be applauded and promoted beyond the difficulties of the moment,’ the academic recalled.
For example, Canada and the European Union (EU), two of Cuba’s main trading partners, will have to respond based on the interests of their companies and citizens, as will U.S. companies affected by having foreign subsidiaries sanctioned by Helms-Burton.
Several of Havana’s trading partners have already expressed their disagreement with the activation of the title and threatened to resort to the World Trade Organization, as announced in a joint communiqué by the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini; Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom; and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland.
Avendaño said that voices should be raised to denounce this situation, especially because almost all the member countries of the United Nations (UN) condemn the blockade imposed by Washington on Havana six decades ago.
It is not a simple censorship, but a total condemnation of that policy that hinders the right to life of the Cuban people, and when Cuba suffers there are, undoubtedly, all collateral years for the rest of Latin America, he concluded.
(With information from PL in Spanish)