Cuba Denounces New US Threats to Intensify the Blockade

Havana, Jan 17 (Prensa Latina) Cuba denounced new threats from the United States to intensify its economic, commercial and financial blockade, following the decision to suspend for only 45 days the application of Title III of the Helms-Burton Law.

‘The government of President Donald Trump threatens to take a new step that would reinforce, dangerously, the blockade against Cuba, would flagrantly violate International Law and directly attack the sovereignty and interests of third countries’, the Foreign Ministry warned in a statement.

The day before, the State Department announced the suspension for 45 days of the aforementioned title of the law that came into force in 1996, which establishes the authorization for American nationals to present before US courts claims against any foreigner who ‘traffic’ with American properties that were nationalized in Cuba in the 1960s.

The island government recalled that these nationalizations were a legitimate process, as recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States, carried out in full compliance with national law and international law.

The Foreign Ministry insists that ‘among the most significant aberrations, this title extends this authorization to owners who were not citizens of the United States at the time of the nationalizations and whose supposed properties no one has certified.’ 

Since 1996, including Trump in 2017 and 2018, all US presidents have made consecutive use of the executive power to suspend the application of Title III every six months in order to acknowledge that it consists of the most gross and unacceptable action against International Law and sovereignty of other States.

That position was also based on the recognition that materializing it would cause insurmountable obstacles for any prospect of settling claims and compensations to legitimate US owners.

Yesterday’s decision generates the most forceful, firm and categorical rejection, Cuba underlined in the declaration, warning that it assumes it as a hostile act of extreme arrogance and irresponsibility.

It also condemned the disrespectful and slanderous language of the State Department’s public message, which attributed the step to carrying out a careful review of the issue, in the light of national interests and efforts to accelerate a transition to democracy in Cuba , and include elements such as the brutal oppression of the regime against human rights and fundamental freedoms and its inexcusable support for the increasingly authoritarian and corrupt regimes of Venezuela and Nicaragua. ‘ 

The Helms-Burton Act was conceived to codify and toughen the economic, commercial and financial blockade officially imposed in 1962, with the objective of subverting and overthrowing the Cuban government and imposing a regime to the liking of Washington.

The siege imposed on the island for more than half a century finds an unanimous rejection in the international community, as shown by successive votes since 1992 at the UN General Assembly, and within most of the US public opinion.

The Foreign Ministry reiterated that the Helms-Burton Act is unlawful, unenforceable, and without legal value or effect, for which it will consider as null any claim covered by it as a natural or legal person, whatever their citizenship or nationality.

‘The government of Cuba reserves the right to respond opportunely to this new aggression,’ The Foreign Ministry said.

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