News: Possibility U.S. citizens to sue foreign companies and individuals over property confiscated from them by the Cuban government


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This is a news thread and not a US political thread. 

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WASHINGTON/HAVANA — 

The Trump administration is considering allowing a law that has been suspended since its creation in 1996 to go into effect, allowing U.S. citizens to sue foreign companies and individuals over property confiscated from them by the Cuban government.

The so-called Title III rule forms part of the Helms-Burton Act, which codified all U.S. sanctions against Cuba into law 23 years ago. It has been waived by every president ever since, Democrats and Republicans alike, due to opposition from the international community and fears it could create chaos in the U.S. court system, analysts say.

However, the administration of President Donald Trump on Wednesday suspended it for just 45 days rather than the customary six months and said it would take a fresh look at allowing it to go into effect.

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I know a few Paladar owners from around the world who would be sweating a little right about now. 

If you are say a European, South American or Canadian paladar owner. operating from a once seized property.........you would  be fair game

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14 minutes ago, El Presidente said:

I know a few Paladar owners from around the world who would be sweating a little right about now. 

If you are say a European, South American or Canadian paladar owner. operating from a once seized property.........you would  be fair game

I wouldn't be, well not from this news at least. Where is the will/wherewithal/cash for enforcement? Even if it does go into affect I really don't see how it would change anything. The lawyers will stay nice and bu$y though!

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The way I read it Cory is that the US based Cuban exile could chase the (say) european, canadian. South American paladar/hotel  owner  operators through US courts. 

That would indeed make it interesting.

 

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16 hours ago, El Presidente said:

I know a few Paladar owners from around the world who would be sweating a little right about now. 

If you are say a European, South American or Canadian paladar owner. operating from a once seized property.........you would  be fair game

 

15 hours ago, El Presidente said:

The way I read it Cory is that the US based Cuban exile could chase the (say) european, canadian. South American paladar/hotel  owner  operators through US courts. 

That would indeed make it interesting.

 

Rob,

sorry - you may know a few foreign investors/ partners in Cuban paladars, but I am certain you don't know a single official foreign owner of a Paladar.

The owners have to be and are Cuban, whether genuine owners or front-men for foreign investment, but Cubans.
I don't believe there is a single foreign owned Paladar in Cuba ...
Correct me if I am wrong.

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I don't know about Paladars but I'm sure there's a lot of companies invested in the various hotels and resorts who are sweating.  I'd also imagine the original owners of Havana Club are licking their lips at the prospect too.  Could there even be cigar related lawsuits for certain marcas as well?  It's an interesting strategy. Go after non Cuban entities that have interests in the US for the actions of the then "Cuban gov't."

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20 hours ago, El Presidente said:

The way I read it Cory is that the US based Cuban exile could chase the (say) european, canadian. South American paladar/hotel  owner  operators through US courts. 

That would indeed make it interesting.

 

I get that. But after the months or years long trials, where Cuba will obviously be found guilty, whats next? How/Who is going to carry out the seizure orders? Interpol? The Russian or Chinese Governments? And at what value? The seizure value or current value?  How would an accurate value even be assessed on 49% ownership of a derelict building/hotel?

By design. There are very few, if any companies with significant financial ties in both Cuba and the US. Obviously this is a direct result of our financial embargo. As @bundwallah mentions, the only feasible way to actually enforce any of these cases, if they do end up happening, would be forfeiture of US Based assets of the guilty parties. 

Just like the last few "policy change" announcements regarding Cuba, this is nothing more than window dressing. A shiny object floated out to distract the masses. Weather I/you agree or disagree with the policies, their effects on the status quo have been ZERO.

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4 hours ago, Corylax18 said:

I get that. But after the months or years long trials, where Cuba will obviously be found guilty, whats next? How/Who is going to carry out the seizure orders? Interpol? The Russian or Chinese Governments? And at what value? The seizure value or current value?  How would an accurate value even be assessed on 49% ownership of a derelict building/hotel?

By design. There are very few, if any companies with significant financial ties in both Cuba and the US. Obviously this is a direct result of our financial embargo. As @bundwallah mentions, the only feasible way to actually enforce any of these cases, if they do end up happening, would be forfeiture of US Based assets of the guilty parties. 

Just like the last few "policy change" announcements regarding Cuba, this is nothing more than window dressing. A shiny object floated out to distract the masses. Weather I/you agree or disagree with the policies, their effects on the status quo have been ZERO.

Let's assume I have an interest in a Havana Paladar (co owner with a Cuban friend). It operates out of a lovely old house  that was appropriated in 1961. 

Pedro Ximinez and his family own that house. They fled to Miami and have never given up hope of reclaiming their home one day. Should the law be lifted, they will sue myself (not the current Cuban owners) as I have been profiteering from their asset and I am reachable with financial assets. 

Now assume that  I travel extensively and have minor but global business assets.  I would now have to finance and defend a US court action. Not turning up will lead to my arrest if I travel through the US again.  To have a US legal action against myself may preclude me from many aspects of global funds transfer/finance. 

Far fetched?  Maybe. But I would think that there are quite a few foreign individuals with business interests in Cuba ( and larger operators in the farming/hotel sector) who would be having a restless night's sleep currently. 

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Seems like a boondoggle for lawyers. I suspect Cuban exiles would have a hard time proving property claims. They would need evidence proving rights beyond a reasonable doubt, and official records and registries may be impossible to acquire. Furthermore, under Castro's regime a lot of properties were confiscated by Castro's military, or the owners ran away to avoid being murdered. Bringing a suit now against companies granted official rights to the property by Castro seems a big stretch, and probably would never fly in international courts.

But I suppose if the US wanted to make life difficult for these companies they could. It just seems like legal quicksand.

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On 1/18/2019 at 8:00 AM, bundwallah said:

 I'd also imagine the original owners of Havana Club are licking their lips at the prospect too.  Could there even be cigar related lawsuits for certain marcas as well?  It's an interesting strategy. Go after non Cuban entities that have interests in the US for the actions of the then "Cuban gov't."

I could be wrong but I think this specifically about confiscated physical property, i.e. land and buildings. Trademarks are a totally different story. 

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44 minutes ago, Philc2001 said:

I could be wrong but I think this specifically about confiscated physical property, i.e. land and buildings. Trademarks are a totally different story. 

And I'm thinking about those buildings. :) Trademarks are one thing but it someone who owned the buildings related to HC or cigar fabrication can come forward that could be interesting.

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