Who Will (Must) Be Trump Administration's Next Targets? Challenge For 7 Senators & 2 Governors

The Trump Administration May Have A Credibility Problem

Distance Between Rhetoric And Action

Is It A Problem It’s Willing To Endure?

Will Marriott Be The Trump Administration’s Next Target?

US$203 Billion In Revenues Is Powerful Motivation For Status Quo

Challenge For Seven Members Of The United States Senate

Challenge For Two Governors

Will The Courts Decide That Everyone Can Sue?  

A subsidiary of Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International, Inc. (2018 revenues approximately US$20 billion), Stamford, Connecticut-based Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide LLC, has a series of two-year licenses from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury in Washington DC to manage two (2) properties located in the Republic of Cuba. 

Marriott International also controls the second-largest certified claim against the government of the Republic of Cuba which it inherited in 2016 as a result of the purchase of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide LLC.  

Both properties managed by Marriott International (through Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide LLC) are in the city of Havana, Four Points by Sheraton Havana and Hotel Inglaterra (delayed opening without explanation from December 2016 to December 2019) and owned by entities controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of the Republic of Cuba (FAR). 

The OFAC licenses were first issued during the Obama Administration and were renewed during the Trump Administration, although there has been a reported delay by the OFAC in transferring the licenses from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide LLC to Marriott International. 

Licenses issued by the OFAC may be rescinded at any time if their use no is no longer deemed in the interest of United States policy; and recipients of licenses have limited defense using the judicial concept of estoppel (we did it, we made decisions depending upon continuity, you can’t take it away) because the applicant willingly seeks a license, and thus acknowledges uncertainty since the Republic of Cuba is under statutory, regulatory, and policy sanctions.  What one administration does is not generally compelled upon a subsequent administration.   

There are, however, exceptions including the airlines, cruise lines and hotel management operations commenced during the Obama Administration and continuing (thus far) through the first nearing twenty-six (26) months of the forty-eight (48) month Trump Administration.  Another well-known example is the agreement by the Clinton Administration to license the U.S. Food & Agri-Business Exhibition, but the license was not issued prior to 20 January 2001.  The Bush Administration adhered to the previous agreement and the event was held in the Republic of Cuba in September 2002. 

Since 20 January 2017, no airline, cruise line, or hotel management company has had their license or authorization to operate in the Republic of Cuba rescinded by the OFAC. 

The credibility of the Trump Administration will continue to be challenged within the United States and other countries in terms of the level of impact it desires to inflict upon the Republic of Cuba and why United States companies are a protected class while non-United States companies are a hunted species.   

For example, the Trump Administration has prohibited “direct” transactions with entities in the Republic of Cuba who are controlled by the FAR rather than “direct and indirect” transactions.  Including “indirect” transactions could impact United States airlines, cruise lines and hotel management contracts in the Republic of Cuba.  Exempting “indirect” transactions protects United States airlines, cruise lines and hotel management contracts.   

The distinction has permitted individuals subject to United States jurisdiction who visit the Republic of Cuba within the twelve (12) categories of authorized travel purposes codified in the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSREEA) of 2000 to make indirect payments to entities listed on the Cuba Restricted List (CRL) maintained by the United States Department of State.  Visiting the Republic of Cuba for the purpose of tourism is specifically prohibited by the TSREEA. 

As long as Marriott International, Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines (2018 revenues approximately US$20 billion) and Miami, Florida-based Carnival Corporation (2018 revenues approximately US$19 billion) among others continue to operate throughout the Republic of Cuba, and do so directly and/or indirectly with entities controlled by the FAR, the correct interpretation will be the Trump Administration will want to do, and will likely say they want to do, more than they will do.  United States companies take solace in that space.    

Likely some of those who work in The West Wing of The White House and the adjacent Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) are supportive of an increased aggressiveness while those occupying offices on the 6th floor and 7th floor of the United States Department of State generally prefer a less confrontational profile. 

Challenge For Members Of Congress & Governors- US$203 Billion 

Members of the United States Congress representing Marriott International: The Honorable Benjamin Cardin (D- Maryland), The Honorable Chris Van Hollen (D- Maryland) and The Honorable Jamie Raskin (D- 8th District).  They are supportive of the hotel management licenses held by Marriott International for the Republic of Cuba. 

The Honorable Mitt Romney (R- Utah) remains a valuable asset to Marriott International, given his multi-decade relationship with the Marriott Family and longtime service as a member of the Board of Directors of Marriott International: https://www.cubatrade.org/blog/2018/11/22/marriott-will-have-an-influential-friend-in-senator-mitt-romney-r-utah?rq=mitt%20romney 

There is a challenge for seven (7) members of the United States Senate and two (2) Governors as they generally or fully support Trump Administration policies toward the Republic of Cuba, including Title III (law suits against traffickers) and Title IV (visa restrictions for traffickers) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (Libertad Act).   

Members of the United States Senate: The Honorable Marco Rubio (R- Florida), The Honorable Rick Scott (R- Florida), The Honorable Robert Menendez (D- New Jersey), The Honorable Ted Cruz (R- Texas), The Honorable John Cornyn (R- Texas), The Honorable Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), The Honorable David Perdue (R- Georgia; his first cousin is The Honorable Sonny Perdue, United States Secretary of Agriculture) and two governors: The Honorable Ron DeSantis (R- Florida) and The Honorable Greg Abbott (R- Texas) have to align the short-term (to 3 November 2020) political calculus with longer-term commercial constituent interests.

The question: Do they support the Trump Administration when that support is detrimental to the commercial interests of companies located (operating) within their states?  And, in the cases of the airlines, the majority of their passengers are individuals subject to United States jurisdiction who are of Cuban descent and reside in the politically significant State of Florida?   

Eventually, judges of United States District Courts may determine who can sue, who can’t sue, who can be sued, and who can’t be sued; the politicians may be biding their time.  Then, politicians can feign blamelessness.  

Companies in the states of Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey and Texas with commercial operations in the Republic of Cuba: 

Atlanta, Georgia-based Delta Air Lines (2018 revenues approximately US$44 billion); Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International (2018 revenues approximately US$20 billion); Chicago, Illinois-based United Airlines (2018 revenues approximately US$41 billion; operates flights from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey); Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines (2018 revenues approximately US$42 billion); Dallas, Texas-based Southwest Airlines (2018 revenues approximately US$22 billion); Miami, Florida-based Carnival Corporation & plc (2018 revenues approximately US$19 billion); Miami, Florida-based Norwegian Cruise Line (2018 revenues approximately US$6 billion); Miami, Florida-based Royal Caribbean International (2018 revenues approximately US$9.5 billion). 

The Certified Claims 

There are 8,821 claims of which 5,913 awards were certified by the United States Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (USFCSC- https://www.justice.gov/fcsc) at the United States Department of Justice which are valued at US$1,902,202,284.95.  The USFCSC permitted interest to be accrued in the amount of 6% per annum; with the current value of the 5,913 certified claims approximately US$8,521,866,156.95.  

The first asset to be expropriated by the government of the Republic of Cuba was an oil refinery in 1960 owned by White Plains, New York-based Texaco, Inc., now a subsidiary of San Ramon, California-based Chevron Corporation (USFCSC: CU-1331/CU-1332/CU-1333 valued at US$56,196,422.73).  

The largest certified claim (Cuban Electric Company) valued at US$267,568,413.62 is controlled by Boca Raton, Florida-based Office Depot, Inc.  The second-largest certified claim (International Telephone and Telegraph Co, ITT as Trustee, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.) valued at US$181,808,794.14 is controlled by Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International.  The smallest certified claim is by Sara W. Fishman in the amount of US$1.00 with reference to the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust. 

The two (2) largest certified claims total US$449,377,207.76, representing 24% of the total value of the certified claims.  Thirty (30) certified claimants hold 56% of the total value of the certified claims.  This concentration of value creates an efficient pathway towards a settlement.   

The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States (FCSC) is a quasi-judicial, independent agency within the Department of Justice which adjudicates claims of U.S. nationals against foreign governments, under specific jurisdiction conferred by Congress, pursuant to international claims settlement agreements, or at the request of the Secretary of State. Funds for payment of the Commission's awards are derived from congressional appropriations, international claims settlements, or liquidation of foreign assets in the United States by the Departments of Justice and the Treasury.”

Certified claimants with current or recent activity within the Republic of Cuba include: New York, New York-based Colgate-Palmolive, Moline, Illinois-based Deere & Company, Atlanta, Georgia-based Delta Air Lines, Boston, Massachusetts-based General Electric, Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International, Chicago, Illinois-based University of Chicago, Denver, Colorado-based Western Union and New Haven, Connecticut-based Yale University.

LINK To Complete Text In PDF Format

trustme-544x272.jpg

Trump Administration Decision About B2 Visa For Cuban Nationals Has Business Focus

According to a senior-level official of the Trump Administration, goals of the decision to alter the B2 Visa also include 1) increase pressure upon the Republic of Cuba to permit the operation of wholesale product marketplaces and service marketplaces for use by the self-employed by lessening the ability of the self-employed to cost-effectively visit the United States to purchase inputs, even though a result is lessening revenues to Florida-based and New Jersey-based merchants and 2) increase attention to the decisions by the Republic of Cuba to encourage the self-employed to travel outside of the country (United States, Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica, etc.) to purchase inputs for their activities: https://www.cubatrade.org/blog/2018/10/24/cyz3n0mzekqojcj7nrwnk93m7c5gww?rq=panama

 Media Note

U.S. Embassy Havana

Havana, Cuba 

March 15, 2019 

Decreasing B2 Visa Validity for Cuban Nationals

Effective March 18, 2019, the United States will reduce the B2 visa validity for Cuban nationals to three months with a single entry.  U.S. immigration law requires that U.S. visa fees and validity periods be reciprocal, insofar as practicable, with the treatment accorded to U.S. citizens. Cuba allows U.S. citizen tourists a single entry for a stay of two months, with a possible 30-day extension to three months total, for $50.  Before the validity change, we allowed Cuban B2 applicants a 60-month, multiple-entry visa for a fee of $160.  The Department of State is decreasing B2 visa validity to three months, single entry for Cuban nationals to match the Government of Cuba’s shorter validity for U.S. citizens in similar categories. 

The B2 visa category is for tourism, family visits, medical treatment, and similar travel purposes.  No other visa categories are being changed for Cuban nationals.  Existing five year multiple entry B2 visas remain valid until their date of expiration. 

Please visit our website at cu.usembassy.gov for additional information about consular services, our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/USEmbCuba/, and follow us on Twitter @USEmbCuba

change.jpg

Juan Guaido Says Venezuela Should End Subsidized Oil Exports To Cuba

H.E. Juan Gerardo Guaido Marquez, is President of the National Assembly of Venezuela and was recognized, beginning in January 2019, by the United States and then more than fifty other countries as the Interim President of Venezuela. 

11 March 2019

Reuters 

Excerpts (including other reporting references): 

During the legislative session, Guaido called for a halt in shipments of oil to Maduro’s political ally Cuba, which has received discounted crude from Venezuela for nearly two decades. The deals have drawn scrutiny from the opposition and its allies abroad as Venezuela’s economic crisis worsened. 

"We have decreed no more oil shipments to Cuba, they are not going to continue chuleando the money of the people of Venezuela (...), not only we decree, but we request international cooperation to make this measure effective," said Guaidó  

“We ask for the international community’s cooperation to make this measure effective, so that the oil the Venezuelan people urgently need to attend to this national emergency is not given away,” Guaido said. 

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton backed the measure, writing on Twitter that, “insurance companies and flag carriers that facilitate these give-away shipments to Cuba are now on notice.” He did not specify any measures the U.S. government may take. 

Earlier on Monday, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on a Russian bank over its dealings with Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized Russia’s Rosneft for buying PDVSA oil. 

LINK To Video Of Statement By Mr. Guaido: https://twitter.com/i/status/1105170876922703873

thUF32V1F3.jpg

U.S. Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo Discusses Cuba's Role In Venezuela

Remarks

Michael R. Pompeo 
Secretary of State

Press Briefing Room
Washington, DC
March 11, 2019

SECRETARY POMPEO: Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for being here. I want to make some brief remarks about the situation, an update on the situation in Venezuela, an update on U.S. activity related to Venezuela. Over the past few days, Venezuelans have been thrown literally into darkness thanks to a massive electrical blackout. Patients awaiting treatment in hospitals are dying, food is rotting, telecommunication networks are entirely collapsing.

It’s worth spending just a minute on how we got here. Nicolas Maduro promised Venezuelans a better life in a socialist paradise, and he delivered on the socialism part, which has proved time and time again is a recipe for economic ruin. The paradise part, not so much. Just consider the facts. The World Bank ranks Venezuela’s business environment 188th out of 190 countries. Only Somalia and Eritrea are worse. The United States did not do that. The expropriations of land and industry and an end to the rule of law did that. Agriculture production is down 70 percent since 2006, manufacturing down by 75 percent, oil production down by half since Maduro took power in 2013. The United States didn’t do all that. Maduro did that.

One month of food today for an average Venezuelan costs a family more than 100 times the monthly minimum wage. Nearly 70 percent of Venezuelan hospital lack basic medicines. More than 90 percent of Venezuelans live below the poverty line. All of this brought to you by the socialism of Maduro.

But this story – this story is not complete without acknowledging the central role Cuba and Russia have played and continue to play in undermining the democratic dreams of the Venezuelan people and their welfare.

First, Cuba. No nation has done more to sustain the death and daily misery of ordinary Venezuelans, including Venezuela’s military and their families, than the communists in Havana. Cuba is the true imperialist power in Venezuela. The Cuban government of Miguel Diaz-Canel provides political cover for Maduro and his henchmen so that they may stay in power. It’s Cuba that has offered Maduro its unwavering solidarity. It’s Cuba that calls Venezuela’s true government, led by Interim President Juan Guaido, which 54 of the world’s democratic nations recognize as a legitimate government – the Cubans call this a puppet government of the United States.

Yet it’s Cuba that’s trained Venezuelans’ secret police and torture tactics, domestic spying techniques, and mechanisms of repression the Cuban authorities have wielded against their own people for decades. Members of the Cuban military and intelligence services are deeply entrenched in the Venezuelan state. Cuban security forces have displaced Venezuelan security forces in a clear violation of Venezuelan sovereignty. I even hear that Maduro has no Venezuelans around him. Many of his personal security and closest advisors are acting not at the direction of the Venezuelan people, and frankly, perhaps not even at the direction of Maduro, but rather at the direction of the Cuban regime. They provide physical protection and other critical material and political support to Maduro and to those around him. So when there’s no electricity, thank the marvels of modern Cuban-led engineering. When there’s no water, thank the excellent hydrologists from Cuba. When there’s no food, thank the Cuban communist overlords.

Why is Cuba asserting so much influence in Venezuela? What’s in it for them? Follow the ideology, follow the corrupt elites, and perhaps most importantly, follow the money. Cuba’s communist revolutionaries share a natural affinity with Maduro’s socialists. They both disdain private property rights, the rule of law, and free and fair elections. The very same economic theories that have decimated the Cuban economy since 1959 have now turned Venezuela’s economy, one of the richest in Latin America, into a case of decline that economists study with amazement and horror. Both of these countries routinely violate the basic human rights of their peoples.

The two nations also share a feature: a deeply corrupt ruling class. Maduro learned from the Castros that the best way to stay in power is to buy enough generals to protect you and make sure that the only way to be rich, or even to avoid poverty, is to feed off the regime and stay in its good graces.

Lastly, there’s an economic relationship between Cuba and Venezuela as well. The Maduro regime sends up to 50,000 barrels of oil to Cuba per day, and Cuba needs this cheap Venezuelan energy to prop up its tottering socialist economy, while Maduro needs Cuban expertise in repression to keep his grip on power. That’s a match made in hell.

Russia, too, has created this crisis. It, too, for its own reasons is thwarting the Venezuelan people’s legitimate democratic hopes and their dreams. Moscow, like Havana, continues to provide political cover to the Maduro regime while pressuring countries to disregard the democratic legitimacy of the Interim President Guaido.

It’s Russia – it’s Russia that vetoed the UN-sponsored resolution on Venezuela in the Secretary Council on February 28th. This UN Security Council resolution called for unhindered access in delivery of assistance to all those in need and supported the restoration of democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela. It’s Russia that chose, rather than supporting this noble goal, it instead put forward its own resolution that served no purpose other than to bolster the illegitimate Maduro regime.

Fortunately, the international community sharply rebuked Russia for this critical circus. Russia scrounged only four votes from the 15-member UN Security Council. Russia claimed at the UN that humanitarian aid deliveries were merely an attempted illegal border crossing for the delivery of unknown cargo. The world knows what was really going on that day.

Russia has also used its state-sponsored disinformation organs like Russia Today and Sputnik to divert attention from the humanitarian disaster of the Maduro regime. Russia has spent an enormous amount of money in Venezuela to support close ties with the regime. Russian loans and investments in Venezuela total more than $17 billion. Russian companies continue to this day to try to help the Maduro regime turn the country’s gold reserves into cash, further squandering the assets of the Venezuelan people, assets they will need to rebuild their future.

Russia’s state-owned oil company Rosneft continues to purchase crude oil cargoes from PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company in defiance of U.S. sanctions. And Rosneft’s CEO, Igor Sechin, continues to throw a lifeline to the regime. Recently, Sechin ordered Rosneft to sell even more oil to the Maduro regime. You’ll recall that PDVSA was once known as the crown jewel of the Venezuelan people. PDVSA is today now a personal ATM for the Maduro regime and for Russian oligarchs and kleptocrats. And Russia too has provided the Chavez and Maduro regimes with large quantities of arms, including 5,000 portable air defense systems, and other forms of lethal assistance. The Kremlin is standing with its Venezuelan cronies against the will of the people of a sovereign nation to protect a Moscow-friendly regime.

It’s worth taking just a moment to compare Cuba and Russia’s malign actions with what the United States has done. The United States has recognized Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela and used diplomacy to convince other countries to do the same. Today, over 50 nations have made this proper choice and formally recognized Juan Guaido.

We’ve given more than 195 million to help Venezuelan refugees, including $152 million worth of humanitarian assistance and $43 million in economic and development assistance. We’ve made sure that wealth derived from Venezuela’s precious resources goes to the people instead of lining the pockets of the Maduro mafia.

The United States has revoked more than 250 visas for individuals responsible for undermining Venezuela’s democracy and those who benefit from the regime’s corruption. And just today, we sanctioned a Moscow-based bank jointly owned by Russian and Venezuelan state-owned companies that is helping perpetuate the misery in Venezuela by doing business with PDVSA.

The nations that support Maduro are, by the nature of this illegitimate regime, carrying out the very foreign interventionism of which they accuse others. Today, the United States is drawing a clear line between those who aid the forces of repression and those who give life to the Venezuelan people’s democratic dreams. There is no ambiguity here about the truth. Thank you.

Happy to take a couple questions.

MR PALLADINO: Okay, so we have time for two questions. Let’s go to Associated Press. Matt Lee.

QUESTION: Thank you, Robert. Mr. Secretary, I hope you have a good trip to Texas tomorrow.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you.

QUESTION: You – so you mentioned that Russia was able to get only four out of 15 – four votes in favor of this resolution at the Security Council. But there – other people would point out that you’ve only gotten 54, or Interim President Guaido has only got 54 countries out of 195 or so at the – in the General Assembly. We’re talking roughly about the same. So are you satisfied with the pace of the momentum behind Guaido and his leadership? And secondly, you said “follow the money” when you were talking about Cuba, follow the ideology, and then mentioned oil. But there are a lot of people – you would probably call them conspiracy theorists – out there who say “follow the oil,” right, and say that this is all the U.S. trying to get Venezuela’s oil. And so I want to ask you: Is this about the U.S. getting Venezuela’s oil? And did the U.S. have anything to do with the power outage?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So let me try and take those in reverse chronological order. With respect to the power outages, those are a direct result of years and years of neglect to the Venezuelan energy system. You can talk to any international energy expert; they’ve seen it. The system has had problems for an awfully long time. Their ability to get it back online has always proven difficult, and over the past several years it’s gotten worse. That was the cause of the blackouts that are – that have taken place, and my guess, knowing a little bit of engineering, will continue to take place.

Second question was – what – Matt, remind me what the second one was? The first one was about were you satisfied with --

QUESTION: Oil.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Oil.

QUESTION: Can you --

SECRETARY POMPEO: We’re trying to get the Venezuelan people.

QUESTION: Not for you, the U.S.

SECRETARY POMPEO: For the Venezuelan people. We are attempting to restore basic rule of law, transparency, democracy, and the wealth that sits in the property basin of Venezuela is for the Venezuelan people.

QUESTION: And then the pace of the --

SECRETARY POMPEO: And then the pace of – yeah, the first question’s the pace of change. We always wish things could go faster, but I’m very confident that the tide is moving in the direction of the Venezuelan people, and will continue to do so. It doesn’t take – Matt, it doesn’t take much for you to see what’s really going on there. The circle is tightening. The humanitarian crisis is increasing by the hour. I talked with our senior person on the ground there in Venezuela last night at 7:00 or 8:00 last night. You can see the increasing pain and suffering that the Venezuelan people are suffering from. It is democracy and the rule of law and the Interim President Juan Guaido that offer the best opportunity for the Venezuelan people to turn the tide and regain the greatness of Venezuela. And the OAS, the Lima Group, with the United States in support, aim to help them achieve that.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR PALLADINO: New York Times, David Sanger.

QUESTION: Your support of Juan Guaido was early, and I’m wondering if you could talk to us a little bit about what you’ve been doing since that time. First of all, are you providing him with any personal protection? I know that Mr. Bolton issued a warning when Guaido went back into Venezuela about his personal safety. I’m wondering if you’re doing for him what the United States did in past years in Afghanistan and elsewhere, where the U.S. was central to providing their protection. I’m wondering if you’re doing any other steps that could be viewed as ways of consolidating his power.

SECRETARY POMPEO: I think your question – I’m not going to talk about particular actions that we may or may not be taking with respect to the security situation for the leadership in Venezuela, just like I don’t talk about the security situation for any leader around the world.

QUESTION: You certainly talked about it in the Afghan case.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, we’re not going to in this State Department. Maybe other administrations chose to do that; we’re not going to do that.

As for actions we’ve taken to support Juan Guaido, I think we’ve been very transparent about the activities we’re taking. We’re supporting every country who’s willing to get on the team and help us get to the right place. The American people have been enormously generous. If you looked at our budget, we’ve asked for up to $500 million to help Venezuela in the year ahead if we get to the right place where that kind of level of resources need a very significant level of American resources. We’re beginning to build out a coalition that will provide its resources as well, because it won’t be an America-alone proposition to restore the economy of the Venezuelan nation. And then we’ve done our best to help Juan Guaido build his team out as well by our team on the ground providing the same kind of services that we provide in every country to help other governments be successful. And we’ll continue – we’ll continue to do that as long as our team is there inside of Venezuela.

MR PALLADINO: Wrap it up there, Mr. Secretary?

SECRETARY POMPEO: I’ll take – I’ll take one more.

QUESTION: One more?

MR PALLADINO: Lesley Wroughton with Reuters.

QUESTION: Thanks. Hello, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Hi, how are you?

QUESTION: A couple of questions. One is, which other countries in the world are hiding Venezuelan assets? Number two, you met with the Indian foreign secretary today. Did he agree to stop buying – buying oil from Maduro’s government? They said they were going – they’ve told us that they were going to talk to you about this very issue. So what exactly are you asking of them and have they agreed?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, so we’re asking the same thing of India as we are of every country: Do not be the economic lifeline for the Maduro regime. So we talked about – I certainly won’t characterize the conversations; they’re private conversations. But I’m very confident – in the same way that India has been incredibly supportive of our efforts on Iran, I’m confident that they too understand the real threat to the Venezuelan people. And so we had a good conversation around that.

And in terms of which other countries are hiding assets, I assure you that those countries will know. But I’m not going to share that with you today because if I mention them here today, goodness knows how many of them will end up inside of Russia. We do not want assets that are around the world taken and transferred to Russia, where they’ll be hidden in the very way that I described in my opening remarks today. We have a handful of countries that are providing aid and comfort to the Maduro regime at enormous expense to the people of Venezuela, and we want to make sure that the resources – resources that the Venezuelan people are going to need after Maduro leaves – we want to make sure those resources are available for the Venezuelan people and not shipped off to Cuba or to Russia or to Iran.

Great. Thanks, everybody.

MR PALLADINO: Thank you, everybody.

gettyimages-1052842194-edit_slide-f93d96eaa615ab55e08a632fa3d2b59c58e26117-s800-c85.jpg

U.S. Department Of State Publishes New Cuba Restricted List

BUREAU OF ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS
March 11, 2019

Below is the U.S. Department of State’s list of entities and subentities under the control of, or acting for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel with which direct financial transactions would disproportionately benefit such services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba. For information regarding the prohibition on direct financial transactions with these entities, please see 31 CFR 515.209. All entities and subentities were listed effective November 9, 2017, unless otherwise indicated.

*** Entities or subentities owned or controlled by another entity or subentity on this list are not treated as restricted unless also specified by name on the list. ***

MINISTRIES

MINFAR — Ministerio de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias

MININT — Ministerio del Interior

HOLDING COMPANIES

CIMEX — Corporación CIMEX S.A.

Compañía Turística Habaguanex S.A.

GAESA — Grupo de Administración Empresarial S.A.

Gaviota — Grupo de Turismo Gaviota

UIM — Unión de Industria Militar

HOTELS IN HAVANA AND OLD HAVANA

Aparthotel Montehabana

Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski

H10 Habana Panorama

Hostal Valencia

Hotel Ambos Mundos

Hotel Armadores de Santander

Hotel Beltrán de Santa Cruz

Hotel Conde de Villanueva

Hotel del Tejadillo

Hotel el Bosque

Hotel el Comendador

Hotel el Mesón de la Flota

Hotel Florida

Hotel Habana 612

Hotel Kohly

Hotel Los Frailes

Hotel Marqués de Prado Ameno

Hotel Palacio del Marqués de San Felipe y Santiago de Bejucal

Hotel Palacio O'Farrill

Hotel Park View

Hotel Raquel

Hotel San Miguel

Hotel Telégrafo

Hotel Terral

Iberostar Grand Packard Hotel Effective November 15, 2018

Memories Miramar Havana

Memories Miramar Montehabana

SO/ Havana Paseo del Prado Effective November 15, 2018

HOTELS IN SANTIAGO DE CUBA

Villa Gaviota Santiago

HOTELS IN VARADERO

Blau Marina Varadero Resort

also Fiesta Americana Punta Varadero Effective November 15, 2018

also Fiesta Club Adults Only Effective March 12, 2019

Grand Memories Varadero

Hotel Las Nubes Effective November 15, 2018

Hotel Oasis Effective November 15, 2018

Iberostar Bella Vista Effective November 15, 2018

Iberostar Laguna Azul

Iberostar Playa Alameda

Meliá Marina Varadero

Meliá Peninsula Varadero

Memories Varadero

Naviti Varadero

Ocean Varadero El Patriarca

Ocean Vista Azul

Paradisus Princesa del Mar

Paradisus Varadero

Sol Sirenas Coral

HOTELS IN PINAR DEL RIO

Hotel Villa Cabo de San Antonio

Hotel Villa Maria La Gorda y Centro Internacional de Buceo

HOTELS IN BARACOA

Hostal 1511

Hostal La Habanera

Hostal La Rusa

Hostal Rio Miel

Hotel El Castillo

Hotel Porto Santo

Villa Maguana

HOTELS IN CAYOS DE VILLA CLARA

Angsana Cayo Santa María Effective November 15, 2018

Dhawa Cayo Santa María

Golden Tulip Aguas Claras Effective November 15, 2018

Hotel Cayo Santa María

Hotel Playa Cayo Santa María

Iberostar Ensenachos

Las Salinas Plana & Spa Effective November 15, 2018

La Salina Noreste Effective November 15, 2018

La Salina Suroeste Effective November 15, 2018

Meliá Buenavista

Meliá Cayo Santa María

Meliá Las Dunas

Memories Azul

Memories Flamenco

Memories Paraíso

Ocean Casa del Mar

Paradisus Los Cayos Effective November 15, 2018

Royalton Cayo Santa María

Sercotel Experience Cayo Santa María Effective November 15, 2018

Sol Cayo Santa María

Starfish Cayo Santa María Effective November 15, 2018

Valentín Perla Blanca Effective November 15, 2018

Villa Las Brujas

Warwick Cayo Santa María

also Labranda Cayo Santa María Hotel Effective November 15, 2018

HOTELS IN HOLGUÍN

Blau Costa Verde Beach & Resort

also Fiesta Americana Holguín Costa Verde Effective November 15, 2018

Hotel Playa Costa Verde

Hotel Playa Pesquero

Memories Holguín

Paradisus Río de Oro Resort & Spa

Playa Costa Verde

Playa Pesquero Premium Service

Sol Rio de Luna y Mares

Villa Cayo Naranjo

Villa Cayo Saetia

Villa Pinares de Mayari

HOTELS IN JARDINES DEL REY

Grand Muthu Cayo Guillermo Effective November 15, 2018

Hotel Playa Coco Plus

Iberostar Playa Pilar

Meliá Jardines del Rey

Memories Caribe

Pestana Cayo Coco

HOTELS IN TOPES DE COLLANTES

Hostal Los Helechos

Kurhotel Escambray Effective November 15, 2018

Los Helechos

Villa Caburni

TOURIST AGENCIES

Crucero del Sol

Gaviota Tours

MARINAS

Marina Gaviota Cabo de San Antonio (Pinar del Rio)

Marina Gaviota Cayo Coco (Jardines del Rey)

Marina Gaviota Las Brujas (Cayos de Villa Clara)

Marina Gaviota Puerto Vita (Holguín)

Marina Gaviota Varadero (Varadero)

STORES IN OLD HAVANA

Casa del Abanico

Colección Habana

Florería Jardín Wagner

Joyería Coral Negro – Additional locations throughout Cuba

La Casa del Regalo

San Ignacio 415

Soldadito de Plomo

Tienda El Navegante

Tienda Muñecos de Leyenda

Tienda Museo El Reloj Cuervo y Sobrinos

ENTITIES DIRECTLY SERVING THE DEFENSE AND SECURITY SECTORS

ACERPROT — Agencia de Certificación y Consultoría de Seguridad y Protección

Alias Empresa de Certificación de Sistemas de Seguridad y Protección Effective November 15, 2018

AGROMIN — Grupo Empresarial Agropecuario del Ministerio del Interior

APCI — Agencia de Protección Contra Incendios

CAHOMA — Empresa Militar Industrial Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara

CASEG — Empresa Militar Industrial Transporte Occidente

CID NAV — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Naval

CIDAI — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de Armamento de Infantería

CIDAO — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo del Armamento de Artillería e Instrumentos Ópticos y Ópticos Electrónicos

CORCEL — Empresa Militar Industrial Emilio Barcenas Pier

CUBAGRO — Empresa Comercializadora y Exportadora de Productos Agropecuarios y Agroindustriales

DATYS — Empresa Para El Desarrollo De Aplicaciones, Tecnologías Y Sistemas

DCM TRANS — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo del Transporte

DEGOR — Empresa Militar Industrial Desembarco Del Granma

DSE — Departamento de Seguridad del Estado

EMIAT — Empresa Importadora Exportadora de Abastecimientos Técnicos

Empresa Militar Industrial Astilleros Astimar

Empresa Militar Industrial Astilleros Centro

Empresa Militar Industrial Yuri Gagarin

ETASE — Empresa de Transporte y Aseguramiento

Ferretería TRASVAL

GELCOM — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Grito de Baire

Impresos de Seguridad

MECATRONICS — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de Electrónica y Mecánica

NAZCA — Empresa Militar Industrial Granma

OIBS — Organización Integración para el Bienestar Social

PLAMEC — Empresa Militar Industrial Ignacio Agramonte

PNR — Policía Nacional Revolucionaria

PROVARI — Empresa de Producciones Varias

SEPSA — Servicios Especializados de Protección

SERTOD — Servicios de Telecomunicaciones a los Órganos de la Defensa Effective November 15, 2018

SIMPRO — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de Simuladores

TECAL — Empresa de Tecnologías Alternativas

TECNOPRO — Empresa Militar Industrial "G.B. Francisco Cruz Bourzac"

TECNOTEX — Empresa Cubana Exportadora e Importadora de Servicios, Artículos y Productos Técnicos Especializados

TGF — Tropas de Guardafronteras

UAM — Unión Agropecuaria Militar

ULAEX — Unión Latinoamericana de Explosivos

XETID — Empresa de Tecnologías de la Información Para La Defensa

YABO — Empresa Militar Industrial Coronel Francisco Aguiar Rodríguez

ADDITIONAL SUBENTITIES OF CIMEX

ADESA/ASAT — Agencia Servicios Aduanales (Customs Services)

Cachito (Beverage Manufacturer)

Contex (Fashion)

Datacimex

ECUSE — Empresa Cubana de Servicios

Inmobiliaria CIMEX (Real Estate)

Inversiones CIMEX

Jupiña (Beverage Manufacturer)

La Maisón (Fashion)

Najita (Beverage Manufacturer)

Publicitaria Imagen (Advertising)

Residencial Tarara S.A. (Real Estate / Property Rental) Effective November 15, 2018

Ron Caney (Rum Production)

Ron Varadero (Rum Production)

Telecable (Satellite Television)

Tropicola (Beverage Manufacturer)

Zona Especializada de Logística y Comercio (ZELCOM)

ADDITIONAL SUBENTITIES OF GAESA

Almacenes Universales (AUSA)

ANTEX — Corporación Antillana Exportadora

Compañía Inmobiliaria Aurea S.A. Effective November 15, 2018

Dirección Integrada Proyecto Mariel (DIP)

Empresa Inmobiliaria Almest (Real Estate)

GRAFOS (Advertising)

RAFIN S.A. (Financial Services)

Sociedad Mercantin Inmobiliaria Caribe (Real Estate)

TECNOIMPORT

Terminal de Contenedores de la Habana (TCH)

Terminal de Contenedores de Mariel, S.A.

UCM — Unión de Construcciones Militares

Zona Especial de Desarrollo Mariel (ZEDM)

Zona Especial de Desarrollo y Actividades Logísticas (ZEDAL)

ADDITIONAL SUBENTITIES OF GAVIOTA

AT Comercial

Gaviota Hoteles Cuba Effective March 12, 2019

Hoteles Habaguanex Effective March 12, 2019

Hoteles Playa Gaviota Effective March 12, 2019

Manzana de Gomez

Marinas Gaviota Cuba Effective March 12, 2019

PhotoService

Plaza La Estrella Effective November 15, 2018

Plaza Las Dunas Effective November 15, 2018

Plaza Las Morlas Effective November 15, 2018

Plaza Las Salinas Effective November 15, 2018

Plaza Las Terrazas del Atardecer Effective November 15, 2018

Plaza Los Flamencos Effective November 15, 2018

Plaza Pesquero Effective November 15, 2018

Producciones TRIMAGEN S.A. (Tiendas Trimagen)

ADDITIONAL SUBENTITIES OF HABAGUANEX

Sociedad Mercantil Cubana Inmobiliaria Fenix S.A. (Real Estate)

**Activities in parentheticals are intended to aid in identification, but are only representative. All activities of listed entities and subentities are subject to the applicable prohibitions.**

P4362.png

U.S. Department Of State To Update Cuba Restricted List On 12 March 2019

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

March 11, 2019 

The State Department has made several updates to the Cuba Restricted List, including adding five sub-entities owned by the Cuban military and one explanatory footnote. The Department also simplified some entries by removing references to parent companies. The changes take effect Tuesday, March 12, 2019. 

The Cuba Restricted List contains entities and sub-entities controlled by the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services or personnel. In accordance with the June 2017 National Security Presidential Memorandum-5, “Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba, the U.S. government generally prohibits direct financial transactions with listed entities and sub-entities because they would disproportionately benefit the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba. The Department will continue to update the list as needed. For more information on the regulations prohibiting direct financial transactions with entities and sub-entities on the Cuba Restricted List, please refer to the November 2017 regulatory amendments by the Departments of the Treasury (31 CFR part 515) and Commerce (15 CFR parts 730-774). 

These additions to the Cuba Restricted List occur as the Cuban government further consolidated the regime’s one-party dictatorship through a flawed, undemocratic constitutional referendum on February 24. We also denounce Cuba’s role in propping the failed regime of former Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro. Cuban military and security forces have abetted Maduro in his quest to remain in power, contributing to the Venezuelan crisis, human rights abuses against Venezuelans, and to the untold suffering of the Venezuelan people.

LINK To Current Cuba Restricted List

3_defer-creators-update-100732880-large.jpg

U.S. Ag/Food Exports Cuba Decreased 16.3% In 2018; Healthcare Product Exports Decreased 38.3%

ECONOMIC EYE ON CUBA©

February/March 2019

December 2018 Food/Ag Exports To Cuba Increase 6.7%- 1

2018 Exports- US$224.9 Million

16.3% Decrease For Year-5

Cuba Ranked 66th of 226 U.S. Food/Ag Export Markets In 2018- 2

2018 Healthcare Product Exports Decrease 38.3%- 2

December 2018 Humanitarian Donations US$481,416.00- 3

Obama Administration Initiatives Exports Continue To Increase- 3

2018 Port Rankings: Louisiana, Virginia, Florida, Alabama & Texas- 15

343,250 Metric Tons In 2018 Compared To 490,012 Metric Tons In 2017- 15

U.S. Port Export Data- 15

DECEMBER 2018 FOOD/AG EXPORTS TO CUBA INCREASE 6.7%- Exports of food products and agricultural commodities from the United States to the Republic of Cuba in December 2018 were US$12,775,779.00 compared to US$11,963,399.00 in December 2017 and US$29,992,937.00 in December 2016.

Exports of agricultural commodities and food products in 2018 under provisions of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSREEA) of 2000, were US$224,910,413.00 compared to US$268,800,005.00 in 2017 and US$232,064,645.00 in 2016.

LINK To Complete Report In PDF Format

maxresdefault.jpg

Five Newspapers Do Not Include Print Edition Articles About Trump Administration Decision On Title III- What Does That Mean?

What is the message when the 5 March 2019 Washington Metropolitan Area (WMA) print editions of newspapers The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, and Financial Times do not include an article about the 4 March 2019 decision by the Trump Administration to authorize lawsuits against Republic of Cuba government-operated entities and, depending upon rulings by United States courts, potentially non-United States-based companies and United States-based companies?   

The Washington Post included an article on page A12 of its print edition distributed within the WMA. 

The most valuable real estate for newspapers is the print edition, as once used, it may not be replaced, updated, shared via the Internet. 

Were the decisions not to include an article about the Trump Administration action relating to Title III of the Libertad Act based strictly upon what information on the day was newsworthy?  Or, was the decision about the Republic of Cuba no longer having significant national importance? Or, what it that this specific story was not significant?

For the Trump Administration, the less media focus upon the Republic of Cuba, the more likely will be a continued enhancement of its use of statutory provisions, regulations and policies designed to impact, diminish and curtail, the ability of the government of the Republic of Cuba to delay commercial, economic and political changes. 

And, as a consequence of a lack of media attention, legislative initiatives in the United States Congress are increasingly speculative, at best, in terms of becoming law. 

Out of sight, out of mind.

out-of-sight.jpg

U.S. Department Of State Briefing About Title III Decision

Western Hemisphere: Senior State Department Official On Title III of the LIBERTAD Act

03/04/2019 01:05 PM EST

Special Briefing

Via Teleconference

March 4, 2019

MODERATOR: Thank you, and good morning everyone, or good afternoon. Thank you for joining us for today’s background briefing on the LIBERTAD Act, also known as the Helms-Burton Act. Today with us is [Senior State Department Official]. A reminder: Today’s call is on background and will be embargoed until the end of the call. I’ll now turn it over to our senior official for brief remarks and then we’ll take some questions. Thank you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Great. Thank you very much, and thanks to everyone for joining us. I know there’s a lot of interest out there, and so I am pleased to discuss today Secretary Pompeo’s historic determination regarding Title III of the LIBERTAD Act. As you know, the United States is committed to advancing human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Cuba. This administration’s policy towards Cuba in particular has been especially clear-eyed in its focus on improving human rights, encouraging the rule of law, fostering free markets and free enterprise, and of course, promoting democracy and freedom in Cuba.

We, of course, are extremely concerned about ongoing human rights abuses in Cuba. The regime continues to deprive the Cuban people of fundamental freedoms, including freedom of speech, the press, and assembly. It’s demonstrated over and over again that it’s willing to use force to silence dissent. Reputable NGOs have reported more than a hundred political prisoners are behind bars, and most recently we saw the regime in action in the violent crackdown on opposition figures that took place prior to the February 24th so-called constitutional referendum.

Unfortunately, even under a new president in Cuba, nothing has changed. We see that the constitution retains the same authoritarian political system and simply reinforces the communist party’s control over the island. Cuba continues to maintain close relations with Russia and China and has destabilized Venezuela, leading to mass flows of refugees and, of course, public health threats.

Since the LIBERTAD Act came into effect in 1996, as you are aware, every administration has fully suspended Title III. But despite that, we continue to see the Cuban state’s repression of its own people, which has, in our view, persisted and even worsened. We have seen additional reputable NGOs report over 2,873 short-term arrests in 2018 and over 405 arbitrary detentions in February 2019 alone. Accordingly, this administration undertook a very serious and thorough review of Title III, the conditions on the ground in Cuba, and whether a waiver is both in the U.S. national interest as well as expedite the transition to democracy.

So based on those considerations, Secretary Pompeo has decided against fully suspending Title III at this time. So today he is announcing the suspension of Title III for 30 days. That’s a period from March 19th to April 17th. But there is one crucial exception, which is that U.S. nationals will have the right to bring action against Cuban entities and Cuban sub-entities on the Cuba Restricted List. And as a reminder, the Cuba Restricted List identifies entities and sub-entities under the control of Cuban military intelligence or security forces, which are, of course, those that are directly responsible for the repression of the Cuban people.

So finally, with this decision the U.S. is holding the Cuban regime accountable and opening a path of redress for U.S. claimants whose property was illegally and unjustly seized by the regime. We should remember that after Fidel Castro seized power, he confiscated private property of thousands of private individuals and companies without any compensation. And to date, there’s really been no justice for this theft. In 1996, when Congress passed and the president signed the LIBERTAD Act, that was partially to penalize those who benefit from the rightful property of Americans.

In addition to taking this action, we also are continuing to encourage the international community to press Cuba on human rights and demand that the regime stop harassing and detaining peaceful activists and independent journalists, release political prisoners, and provide for a democratic and prosperous future for the Cuban people. We’re also encouraging anyone doing business in Cuba to consider, whether intentionally or not, they’re trafficking in confiscated property and therefore abetting the regime’s repression.

So in sum, this is – it’s clear that by this action we are ratcheting up pressure on the Cuban Government. In the days ahead we’re going to continue to monitor the impact of the suspension with an exception and assess what further action may be necessary to the national interests of the United States and to expedite democracy and support efforts by the Cuban people to bring reform to their country. We’ll also continue to encourage international partners to hold Cuba accountable for propping up the Maduro regime in Venezuela and press them to stop harassing and detaining peaceful activists and independent journalists.

And with that, I’ll close and happy to take any questions.

MODERATOR: Okay. Now we’ll move over to the questions.

OPERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, as a reminder, please press * then 1 if you would like to ask a question.

All right. We have a question. We have a couple people in queue for a question.

MODERATOR: Okay. We’ll take the first question.

OPERATOR: All right. We’ll go to the line of Matthew Lee from AP. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Thanks. Listen, I’ve read through this waiver, which is very short, and I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly how – what kind of pressure this is going to put on the Cubans. And to that – to that end, how is a U.S. company or person supposed to bring an action against these people? What courts?

And secondly, are – if there are joint ventures that are on the list of restricted entities and sub-entities, will the foreign partner in the joint venture be able to be sued as well? Thank you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Yes, thank you very much. So I’ll take those three questions in order.

So in terms of the type of pressure, so, of course, this is the first time that we are implementing –that we have an exception to the waiver for Title III. It’s very clear through this action that we are going to hold the Cuban regime accountable for its confiscation of properties and ensure that there is justice for U.S. claimants.

With respect to where they bring these cases, that would be to the U.S. federal courts.

And then finally, this is with a specific focus on Cuban entities and sub-entities, so as it currently stands, the intention of the Secretary’s decision is for them to be the – those against whom action is taken, not those who are engaged in joint ventures, at this time.

MODERATOR: Thank you. We’ll go the next question.

OPERATOR: We will now go to the line of Nick Wadhams from Bloomberg News. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi, thanks very much. Given your answer that this will not target foreign companies, can you explain a little bit how this will be anything more than a purely symbolic move?

And then second, why do you keep shortening the exemption? Routinely it was six months prior, then the most recent exemption was 45 days, and now you’ve gone to 30 days. Does this signal that you’re not going to keep issuing this exemption? Thanks.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Thank you very much. So with respect to the timeline, the Secretary has determined that 30 days is an appropriate time span at this time, during which period we will continue to assess the impact that it has had, and also in line with those two principles, which is U.S. national interest and expediting a return to democracy.

By limiting implementation of Title III to Cuban entities and sub-entities on the CRL, as mentioned, it does not allow Title III litigation against existing third-country investors in properties on the Cuba Restricted List. However, part of the shortening period is so that we can make a determination as to how this is affecting the calculus of others, and we will use this 30-day period as we used the previous 45-day period to encourage any person who is doing business in Cuba to reconsider whether they are trafficking in confiscated property. We cannot make a judgment or prejudge what the Secretary’s decision will be at the end of this 30-day period in terms of where we move from here.

MODERATOR: We’ll go to the next question, please.

OPERATOR: We will now go to the line of Juan Lopez from CNN. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Yes, thank you for the call. So basically, what you’re announcing today is that you’re taking another 30 days before you notify that the measures will be implemented. So it won’t be, as we thought, March 17th, 18th. It’ll be way after April. And you said not joint ventures. So who – you mentioned U.S. citizens being able to be a part of these – this process. Who can they sue if they can’t sue these joint ventures when most of those entities in Cuba that operate hotels and all other – all of these type of companies are joint ventures?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Thank you very much. So to clarify, we are saying that we are restricting the implementation of Title III to Cuban entities and sub-entities on the Cuba Restricted List. If those entities are engaged in joint ventures, it doesn’t mean that the entities in the joint ventures are not able to sue. It just means that – or not able to be sued. It just means that the suit itself is brought against the Cuban entities and sub-entities.

And with respect to the 30-day period, this basically says beginning on March – the Secretary’s decision indicates that beginning on March 19th U.S. claimants can begin bringing those suits against Cuban and – Cuban entities and Cuban sub-entities in U.S. federal courts. And then during that 30-day period – following that 30-day period, we will monitor the impact of that suspension and assess whether a further suspension is necessary to the interests of the United States.

MODERATOR: Thank you. We’ll go to the next question.

OPERATOR: Our next question comes from Beatriz Pascual from EFE. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi. I was wondering if you have talked with your European partners about this, and what is their opinion on the matter, if there has been a dialogue. And some entities – so the measure only affects Cuban entities, but I was wondering if it could affect also entities associated with those Cuban entities. Like, if you could develop a little bit on that, that would be helpful. Thank you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Thank you very much for that question. So in terms of our allies in the EU, Canada, and elsewhere, obviously we have engaged with them. We’ve consulted with our international partners and have taken those into consideration. The Secretary was very clear that part of their concerns were a factor in his decision-making process. It is part of, of course, the U.S. national interest to assess where our partners are on this issue. We also are continuing to engage them going forward to explain this policy and to make sure that they are in the loop with respect to any future decisions that come under Title III.

With respect to the second question, you’re correct. This is only allowing action against Cuban entities and Cuban sub-entities on the CRL, and it is not intended to affect European companies that are currently doing business in Cuba.

MODERATOR: Thank you. We’ll go to the next question.

OPERATOR: Now go to the line of Karen DeYoung from Washington Post. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Yes, hello. I just have a couple questions. One, to – again, sorry to be so dense, but to clarify on this joint venture thing. You said if there are joint ventures, it doesn’t mean that the entities in the joint ventures are not able to be sued; it just means the suit itself is brought against the Cuban entities and sub-entities. I’m just not quite clear what that means.

And secondly, there have been some people, some claimants who have already been certified by U.S. courts as eligible to sue if and when this provision was lifted. Can you clarify that a little bit, tell me how many there are, and also if and when Cuban Americans who are now U.S. citizens will be eligible?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Thanks very much for that question. So with respect to certification, this is not limited – this decision is not limited only to certified claims, and so you may be aware that there’s a 1996 assessment by the State Department on how many certified and uncertified claims were out there, and so that had estimated approximately 75,000 to 200,000 potential claims that could be at play here. Of course, because we have restricted this exclusively to the Cuban entities and sub-entities on the Cuba Restricted List, that affects the final determination of how many claims are out there.

Again, on the question of joint ventures, you can – the shortest way of putting it is that you can sue the Cuban entity or the Cuban sub-entity. This action does not authorize the suit of a European, a Japanese, any other company from other countries. It’s only action brought against a Cuban entity or the Cuban sub-entity on a property on the Cuba Restricted List.

MODERATOR: Go to the next question, please.

OPERATOR: We will now go to the line of Christina Smith from Voice of America. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hello. Thank you. I was wondering if this measure or this decision from Secretary Pompeo was made on the basis of what’s going on in Venezuela. Is this to put pressure on the Maduro government?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Thanks for that question. So the determination by the Secretary was made based off an analysis of the two statutory requirements in the LIBERTAD Act, the first of which being it – waivers only authorized in the case of a U.S. national interest as well as whether a waiver allows for an expedited transition to democracy. Those were the factors that the Secretary took under consideration.

MODERATOR: Thank you. We’ll go to the next question.

OPERATOR: Michele Keleman from NPR. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) of the 200,000 potential claims, are you expecting any actual lawsuits coming out of this more restricted version of Title III, any percentage of that up to 200,000? And then secondly, the – have – has this administration had any discussions with Cuba about claims and compensations? The foreign ministry has said that they are open to such a dialogue.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Thanks very much for that question. So with respect to your first one, it’s hard to say the exact number of lawsuits. This would be dependent on private action, so we can’t speculate on that. And with respect to your second question, not under this current administration.

MODERATOR: Thank you. We’ll go to the next question, please.

OPERATOR: We will now go to the line of Kylie Atwood, CBS. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Yeah, hi, thanks for doing this. Quick question: Could you just clarify what you said at the top about Cuban military intelligence and security forces and exactly how that plays into this? I was just a little confused. Thank you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Sure, no problem. So the mention of those entities is because those are the entities on the – basically, the Cuba Restricted List identifies entities and sub-entities under the control of those authorities, so the military intelligence and security services. And so because we are – we have an exemption to the waiver for those Cuban entities and sub-entities on the Cuba Restricted List, that’s why we mentioned the Cuban military and intelligence and security forces.

MODERATOR: Thank you. We’ll go to the next question.

OPERATOR: Our next question comes from Andrew O’Reilly from Fox News. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Yeah, thanks for taking the call. I just – just wondering – following up on some of my colleagues have said about the kind of role that this will play when brought to the courts or when U.S. citizens or former Cuban citizens bring these suits to federal courts. It seems – and correct me if I’m wrong here, but it seems like it would be a symbolic thing more than anything legally binding to Cuba. Can you just kind of describe kind of what the process would be and what the government hopes to get out of this?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Sure, thanks very much. So the importance of this action and the historic nature of it is because this is the first time that we are not fully suspending the ability to bring suits. So as you’re aware, the Cuban Government stole property from thousands of private citizens and businesses, and this action for the first time is holding the Cuban Government and especially, as mentioned, these forces – security forces, intelligence and military forces – accountable. It’s finally giving claimants a measure of recourse and the opportunity to bring suits against these entities.

MODERATOR: All right, thank you. We have time for one lest question.

OPERATOR: All right. We will go to the line of Karen DeYoung with Washington Post. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi. Sorry, it’s me again. I just – the question I asked about whether this applies only to people who were U.S. citizens at the time of the confiscation or also to Cubans who were Cuban citizens at the time but are now U.S. citizens.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Thank you very much. Yes, it applies to all of the above. It is not just restricted to those who were U.S. citizens at the time.

Briefing.jpg

U.S. Department Of State Partially Implements Title III Of The Libertad Act Of 1996

Press Releases: Secretary Enacts 30-Day Suspension of Title III (LIBERTAD Act) With an Exception

03/04/2019 10:34 AM EST

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC
March 4, 2019

Today, Secretary Pompeo reported to the appropriate Congressional committees his determination that an additional suspension for 30 days through April 17, 2019, of the right to bring an action under Title III of the 1996 Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act is necessary to the national interests of the United States and will expedite a transition to democracy in Cuba, with the below exception. Beginning March 19, suspension shall not apply to:

  • The right to bring an action against a Cuban entity or sub-entity identified by name on the State Department’s List of Restricted Entities and Sub-entities Associated with Cuba (known as the Cuba Restricted List), as may be updated from time to time.

We will continue to study the impact of this suspension on the human rights situation in Cuba. The Cuba Restricted List identifies entities and sub-entities under the control of Cuban military, intelligence, or security services. These security services are directly responsible for the repression of the Cuban people. We encourage any person doing business in Cuba to reconsider whether they are trafficking in confiscated property and abetting the Cuban dictatorship.

State-Department-1140x684.jpg

Could Airbnb Be Sued Using Title III Of The Libertad Act? Would Be Ironic For Senator Rubio

Could Airbnb Be Sued Using Title III Of The Libertad Act?  Can A Prima Facie Case Be Made?  Would Be Ironic For Senator Rubio 

Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Solidarity Act of 1996 (“Libertad Act”) has an exemption from legal action for residential property that is used solely for residential purposes.  Republic of Cuba nationals who are owners of residential property are not subject to legal action using provisions of Title III.   

The Trump Administration is expected to notify the United States Congress during the period 1 March 2019 to 4 March 2019 if Title III of the Libertad Act will be implemented, as expected, by 17/18/19 March 2019.  

What if a Republic of Cuba national owns a residence in the city of Havana, Republic of Cuba, and is benefiting from commercial activity associated with the residence- renting it to third-parties?   

From the Libertad Act: (3) Commercial activity.-- The term "commercial activity" has the meaning given that term in section 1603(d) of title 28, United States Code.  [Definition: (d) A “commercial activity” means either a regular course of commercial conduct or a particular commercial transaction or act. The commercial character of an activity shall be determined by reference to the nature of the course of conduct or particular transaction or act, rather than by reference to its purpose]. 

What if the owner uses the services of San Francisco, California-based Airbnb, Inc., to market globally the property and to collect the payments, which are then delivered to the owner of the property?  Airbnb reportedly represents more than 22,000 properties in the Republic of Cuba; and the properties reportedly generated combined gross revenues of approximately US$47 million annually from 2015 through 2019.   

Could an argument be made before a United States District Court, despite definitions contained with the Libertad Act, that the residential exemption does not apply because the owner is benefitting from commercial activity which is not necessary and, as a result, Airbnb, which receives revenue from and provides marketing services for the residence in the Republic of Cuba, is a trafficker as defined by the Libertad Act of 1996? 

From the Libertad Act: (13) Traffics.--(A) As used in title III, and except as provided in subparagraph (B), a person "traffics" in confiscated property if that person knowingly and intentionally-- (i) sells, transfers, distributes, dispenses, brokers, manages, or otherwise disposes of confiscated property, or purchases, leases, receives, possesses, obtains control of, manages, uses, or otherwise acquires or holds an interest in confiscated property, (ii) engages in a commercial activity using or otherwise benefiting from confiscated property, or (iii) causes, directs, participates in, or profits from, trafficking (as described in clause (i) or (ii)) by another person, or otherwise engages in trafficking (as described in clause (i) or (ii)) through another person, without the authorization of any United States national who holds a claim to the property. (B) The term "traffics" does not include-- (iii) transactions and uses of property incident to lawful travel to Cuba, to the extent that such transactions and uses of property are necessary to the conduct of such travel; or (iv) transactions and uses of property by a person who is both a citizen of Cuba and a resident of Cuba, and who is not an official of the Cuban Government or the ruling political party in Cuba. 

What if an argument is made that the Libertad Act unconstitutionally created two classes of plaintiffs, using the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution as the basis:  “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” 

Would be ironic if the Libertad Act of 1996, which The Honorable Marco Rubio (R- Florida) supports as a tool of influence, was used to file a lawsuit against Airbnb, a company whose activity in the Republic of Cuba is supported by Senator Rubio due to its role in lessening revenues to the government of the Republic of Cuba and directing revenues to Republic of Cuba nationals. 

From a Washington DC-based attorney.  “No, this is simply wrong.”  1. A property that is residential in nature is not confiscated property.  Doesn’t qualify - that alone should end the enquirer.  2. A Cuban national cannot be a trafficker.  So, there is no predicate act of trafficking Airbnb is profiting or benefitting from.  3. Transactions incident to lawful travel to Cuba do not constitute trafficking.  So again there is no predicate act of trafficking from which Airbnb benefits or profits.  If a suit were filed, it would be dismissed immediately with compensatory sanctions ordered by the judge against the plaintiff’s attorney.   

However, once the process shifts from being defined by politicians to being subject to the determination(s) of judges, what may have been perceived as wrong may become actionable… 

Certified Claims Background 

There are 8,821 claims of which 5,913 awards valued at US$1,902,202,284.95 were certified by the USFCSC and have not been resolved for nearing sixty years.  The USFCSC permitted interest to be accrued in the amount of 6% per annum; with the current value of the 5,913 certified claims approximately US$8,521,866,156.95.  

The first asset to be expropriated by the Republic of Cuba was an oil refinery in 1960 owned by White Plains, New York-based Texaco, Inc., now a subsidiary of San Ramon, California-based Chevron Corporation (USFCSC: CU-1331/CU-1332/CU-1333 valued at US$56,196,422.73).  

The largest certified claim (Cuban Electric Company) valued at US$267,568,413.62 is controlled by Boca Raton, Florida-based Office Depot, Inc.  The second-largest certified claim (International Telephone and Telegraph Co, ITT as Trustee, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.) valued at US$181,808,794.14 is controlled by Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International.  The smallest certified claim is by Sara W. Fishman in the amount of US$1.00 with reference to the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust. 

The two (2) largest certified claims total US$449,377,207.76, representing 24% of the total value of the certified claims.  Thirty (30) certified claimants hold 56% of the total value of the certified claims.  This concentration of value creates an efficient pathway towards a settlement.   

Of the 5,915 certified claims, 913, or 15%, are valued at US$50,000.00 or more.Adjusted for inflation, US$50,000.00 (3.70% per annum) in 1960 has a 2019 value of approximately US$427,267.01.The USFCSC authorized 6% per annum, meaning the 2019 value of US$50,000.00 is approximately US$1,649,384.54.

LINK To Analysis In PDF Format

Airbnb-rebrand-by-DesignStudio_dezeen_468_8.jpg

How Can A Company Be Targeted By Title III, But Its Executives Not Be Targeted By Title IV? Question For Secretary Pompeo

Why Can A Company Be Targeted By Title III, But Its Executives Not Be Targeted By Title IV?

Definition Of “Shall” Becomes Important

Why Won’t State Department Release List Of Title IV Targets?

Who Can File, Who Can’t File, Who Gets Sued, Who Escapes

Will Venezuela Intervene And Be Basis For Further Inaction? 

A central tenant of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (known as “Libertad Act”) is to deny financial resources to the government of the Republic of Cuba.   

The Libertad Act is known widely as “Helms-Burton” for its authors: The Honorable Jesse Helms (R- North Carolina) of the United States Senate and The Honorable Dan Burton (R- Indiana) of the United States House of Representatives.  Senator Helms retired in 2003 and died in 2008 and Representative Burton retired in 2013. 

Whatever decision(s) are implemented by the Trump Administration using one or more provisions of the Libertad Act, likely will a judge or judges who will determine the legality and constitutionality of who can file a lawsuit, who can’t file a lawsuit, who is sued and who isn’t sued. 

The now 80-year-old Mr. Burton is quite likely to be shuttling between courts in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Washington DC while serving as an expert witness to define the intent of provisions of the Libertad Act. 

At the request of The White House, the United States Department of State is expected to submit a letter to the United States Congress by Monday, 4 March 2019, with its decision relating to the implementation of Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (known as “Libertad Act”).    

On 17/18 March 2019, the Trump Administration is planning to permit Title III and further implement Title IV of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (known as “Libertad Act”).   

Title III authorizes lawsuits in United States District Courts against companies and individuals who are using a certified claim where the owner of the certified claim has not received compensation from the Republic of Cuba or from a third-party who is using the asset.   

Title IV restricts entry into the United States by individuals who have connectivity to unresolved certified claims.  One company is currently subject to this provision. 

Questions Trump Administration Needs To Answer 

Should all claimants (certified and non-certified) be permitted to sue?  Only Americans?  Only Cuban-Americans?  Both Americans and Cuban-Americans?  If the central tenant of the Libertad Act is to deny financial resources to the government of the Republic of Cuba, and the largest number (perhaps 90% or more) of potential claimants are individuals of Cuban descent, how would the Trump Administration defend itself against likely charges of a denial of due process and equal protection?  Or, worse, of wimping-out. 

If the Trump Administration exempts the government of the Republic of Cuba (and Republic of Cuba government-operated entities) from being a defendant in lawsuits, then the remaining defendants would be non-Republic of Cuba-based companies.  The value of assets by those companies pales in comparison with the value of assets of the government of the Republic of Cuba (and Republic of Cuba government-operated companies).  So, if the goal is to obtain restitution, lawsuits against the government of the Republic of Cuba (and Republic of Cuba government-operated companies) must be permitted.  

If the Trump Administration excludes United States-based companies (hotel, cruise line, airline, etc.) from being defendants, likely will be a lawsuit challenging the exemption.  The exemption would be based upon an argument that the activities of the travel-related companies are licensed (general or specific) by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as incident to authorized travel and thus not subject to a lawsuit.  Arguments in opposition would be based upon the belief that the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSREEA) of 2000 specifically listed twelve (12) categories of authorized travel; and travel for the purpose of tourism was not among them and, as such, is illegal.  And, that the Obama Administration changes to definitions as to who is eligible to travel was in itself an illegal act.  Thus, the use of regularly-scheduled cruise ships and aircraft and hotel management contracts are, by definition, by activity, implements for tourism.   

Undermining any decision by the Trump Administration relating to Title III and Title IV is during the last twenty-three (23) years, only one (1) company remains subject to provisions of Title IV.  The company has chosen to remain in the Republic of Cuba despite actions of the United States government designed to curtail that presence- which was in place and operational prior to the enactment of the Libertad Act. 

From Media Reports on 10/11 July 1996: Under the measures announced today (10 July 1996) by the State Department, the director of the Toronto-based company, Sherritt International Corp., will be barred from entering the United States, along with eight of his top officers and their immediate families. The ban will take effect in six weeks, after a waiting period designed to allow the company time to terminate its investments in Cuba.  At a briefing in Washington announcing the notification of the company executives affected, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns defended the provision affecting families as “likely to enhance . . . the threat that is contained very clearly in Helms-Burton.”  Burns said company executives were notified in letters dated Tuesday that after 45 days, they will not be allowed to enter the United States. The period is supposed to allow the company time to reconsider its investments in Cuba.  “It is unconventional,” Burns said. “It is a very tough action that we are taking today.” 

There have reportedly been fewer than ten (10) non-United States-based companies (tourism, agriculture, real estate, telecommunications, etc.) since 1996 who were informed by the United States Department of State that they would be subject to provisions of Title IV unless activities were curtailed; the activities were reportedly curtailed.   

NOTE: The United States Department of State refuses to publish a list of those who receive letters relating to Title IV. 

Since 1996, during the last twenty-three (23) years, during four (4) presidencies: Clinton Administration (5+ years), Bush Administration (8 years), Obama Administration (8 years), Trump Administration (2+ years) there remains only one (1) non-United States company who is deemed by the United States Department of State to be subject to provisions of Title IV?  Only one. 

Can a company or individual located outside of the United States be identified by a certified claimant and/or non-certified claimant as a target of a potential lawsuit using Title III, but not be subject to a Title IV action by the United States Department of State?   

We may know in less than one-hundred (100) hours… 

TITLE IV--SEC. 401. EXCLUSION FROM THE UNITED STATES OF ALIENS WHO HAVE CONFISCATED PROPERTY OF UNITED STATES NATIONALS OR WHO TRAFFIC IN SUCH PROPERTY. 

(a) Grounds for Exclusion.--The Secretary of State shall deny a visa to, and the Attorney General shall exclude from the United States, any alien who the Secretary of State determines is a person who, after the date of the enactment of this Act-- (1) has confiscated, or has directed or overseen the confiscation of, property a claim to which is owned by a United States national, or converts or has converted for personal gain confiscated property, a claim to which is owned by a United States national; (2) traffics in confiscated property, a claim to which is owned by a United States national; (3) is a corporate officer, principal, or shareholder with a controlling interest of an entity which has been involved in the confiscation of property or trafficking in confiscated property, a claim to which is owned by a United States national; or (4) is a spouse, minor child, or agent of a person excludable under paragraph (1), (2), or (3). 

TITLE III--SEC. 302. LIABILITY FOR TRAFFICKING IN CONFISCATED PROPERTY CLAIMED BY UNITED STATES NATIONALS. 

(a) Civil Remedy.-- (1) Liability for trafficking.--(A) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person that, after the end of the 3-month period beginning on the effective date of this title, traffics in property which was confiscated by the Cuban Government on or after January 1, 1959, shall be liable to any United States national who owns the claim to such property for money damages in an amount equal to the sum of-- (i) the amount which is the greater of-- (I) the amount, if any, certified to the claimant by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, plus interest; (II) the amount determined under section 303(a)(2), plus interest; or (III) the fair market value of that property, calculated as being either the current value of the property, or the value of the property when confiscated plus interest, whichever is greater; and (ii) court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.  (B) Interest under subparagraph (A)(i) shall be at the rate set forth in section 1961 of title 28, United States Code, computed by the court from the date of confiscation of the property involved to the date on which the action is brought under this subsection.   

(2) Presumption in favor of the certified claims.--There shall be a presumption that the amount for which a person is liable under clause (i) of paragraph (1)(A) is the amount that is certified as described in subclause (I) of that clause. The presumption shall be rebuttable by clear and convincing evidence that the amount described in subclause (II) or (III) of that clause is the appropriate amount of liability under that clause. 

(3) Increased liability.--(A) Any person that traffics in confiscated property for which liability is incurred under paragraph (1) shall, if a United States national owns a claim with respect to that property which was certified by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, be liable for damages computed in accordance with subparagraph (C).   

(B) If the claimant in an action under this subsection (other than a United States national to whom subparagraph (A) applies) provides, after the end of the 3-month period described in paragraph (1) notice to-- (i) a person against whom the action is to be initiated, or (ii) a person who is to be joined as a defendant in the action, at least 30 days before initiating the action or joining such person as a defendant, as the case may be, and that person, after the end of the 30- day period beginning on the date the notice is provided, traffics in the confiscated property that is the subject of the action, then that person shall be liable to that claimant for damages computed in accordance with subparagraph (C).   

(C) Damages for which a person is liable under subparagraph (A) or subparagraph (B) are money damages in an amount equal to the sum of-- (i) the amount determined under paragraph (1)(A)(ii), and (ii) 3 times the amount determined applicable under paragraph (1)(A)(i).  (D) Notice to a person under subparagraph (B)-- (i) shall be in writing; (ii) shall be posted by certified mail or personally delivered to the person; and (iii) shall contain-- (I) a statement of intention to commence the action under this section or to join the person as a defendant (as the case may be), together with the reasons therefor; (II) a demand that the unlawful trafficking in the claimant's property cease immediately; and (III) a copy of the summary statement published under paragraph (8).  (4) Applicability.--(A) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, actions may be brought under paragraph (1) with respect to property confiscated before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act. 

(B) In the case of property confiscated before the date of the enactment of this Act, a United States national may not bring an action under this section on a claim to the confiscated property unless such national acquires ownership of the claim before such date of enactment.  (C) In the case of property confiscated on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, a United States national who, after the property is confiscated, acquires ownership of a claim to the property by assignment for value, may not bring an action on the claim under this section.   

(5) Treatment of certain actions.--(A) In the case of a United States national who was eligible to file a claim with the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 but did not so file the claim, that United States national may not bring an action on that claim under this section.  (B) In the case of any action brought under this section by a United States national whose underlying claim in the action was timely filed with the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 but was denied by the Commission, the court shall accept the findings of the Commission on the claim as conclusive in the action under this section. 

(C) A United States national, other than a United States national bringing an action under this section on a claim certified under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, may not bring an action on a claim under this section before the end of the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act. 

(D) An interest in property for which a United States national has a claim certified under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 may not be the subject of a claim in an action under this section by any other person. Any person bringing an action under this section whose claim has not been so certified shall have the burden of establishing for the court that the interest in property that is the subject of the claim is not the subject of a claim so certified.  (6) Inapplicability of act of state doctrine.--No court of the United States shall decline, based upon the act of state doctrine, to make a determination on the merits in an action brought under paragraph (1) . 

(7) Licenses not required.--(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an action under this section may be brought and may be settled, and a judgment rendered in such action may be enforced, without obtaining any license or other permission from any agency of the United States, except that this paragraph shall not apply to the execution of a judgment against, or the settlement of actions involving, property blocked under the authorities of section 5(b) of the Trading with the Enemy Act that were being exercised on July 1, 1977, as a result of a national emergency declared by the President before such date, and are being exercised on the date of the enactment of this Act.

LINK To Complete Analysis

CourtDecisions.jpg

State Department Expected To Notify U.S. Congress Of Title III Intentions Soon

At the request of The White House, the United States Department of State is expected to submit a letter to the United States Congress by Monday, 4 March 2019, with its decision relating to the implementation of Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (known as “Libertad Act”).   

On 17/18 March 2019, the Trump Administration is planning to permit Title III and further implement Title IV of the Libertad Act.   

Title III authorizes lawsuits in United States District Courts against companies and individuals who are using a certified claim where the owner of the certified claim has not received compensation from the Republic of Cuba or from a third-party who is using the asset.   

Title IV restricts entry into the United States by individuals who have connectivity to unresolved certified claims.  One company is currently subject to this provision.

preview16.jpg

Why Will Filing A Title III Lawsuit Cost Each Of The Potential 913 Certified Plaintiffs US$6,548.00?

Why Does Filing A Title III Lawsuit Cost US$6,548.00? 

Followers of commercial, economic and political issues relating to the Republic of Cuba have focused during the last months on what, if anything, the Trump Administration will do with respect to provisions (Title III and Title IV) of the Cuban Liberty and Solidarity Act of 1996, known as the “Libertad Act” and as “Helms-Burton.”  A decision is expected by 17/18 March 2019. 

The cost of filing a lawsuit using the Title III provision of Libertad has been a focus of attention.  The following is a timeline from the Office of the Judicial Conference Secretariat of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts: 

“The 26-member Judicial Conference is the policy-making body for the federal court system. By statute, the Chief Justice of the United States serves as its presiding officer and its members are the chief judges of the 13 courts of appeals, a district judge from each of the 12 geographic circuits, and the chief judge of the Court of International Trade. The Conference meets twice a year to consider administrative and policy issues affecting the court system, and to make recommendations to Congress concerning legislation involving the Judicial Branch.” 

From Judicial Conference Proceedings: 

September 1996: “MISCELLANEOUS FEE - CUBAN LIBERTY AND DEMOCRATIC SOLIDARITY ACT.  The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (Public Law No. 104-1 14) authorizes United States citizens claiming ownership of property confiscated by the Cuban government on or after January 1, 1959, to sue any "person" who traffic in that property.  The Act requires the Judicial Conference to establish a fee for filing these actions "at a level sufficient to recover the costs to the court of actions brought under this section." The Judicial Conference approved a Court Administration and Case Management Committee recommendation that, pursuant to the revenue-neutral mandate imposed by Congress, a miscellaneous fee of US$4,180.00 be established for cases filed under this Act.” 

September 2003: The Committee on Court Administration and Case Management undertook a comprehensive review of the miscellaneous fees set by the Judicial Conference for the courts of appeals, the district courts, the United States Court of Federal Claims, the bankruptcy courts, and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1913, 1914, 1926, 1930, and 1932, respectively, and recommended several changes, including adjustments for inflation, specific fee increases, establishment of new fees, and clarification of certain provisions, as specifically noted below. The Committee’s recommendations were endorsed in relevant part by the Budget and Bankruptcy Committees.  Inflationary increases. In September 1996, the Judicial Conference raised certain miscellaneous fees to account for inflation and rising court costs (JCUS-SEP 96, p. 54). At that time, the Committee on Court Administration and Case Management determined that it would be appropriate to review the miscellaneous fee schedules approximately every five years to determine if any inflationary adjustments were warranted. At this session, the Conference approved a recommendation of the Committee to adopt inflationary increases to most miscellaneous fees. 

September 2011: “On recommendation of the Court Administration and Case Management Committee, the Conference determined to raise many of these fees to account for inflation, as set forth below, effective November 1, 2011. These fees have not been adjusted for inflation since 2003: 13. Cuban Liberation Civil Filing Fee- Current Fee US$5,431.00.  New Fee US$6,355.00.” 

September 2016: “MISCELLANEOUS FEE SCHEDULES Inflationary Fee Increases. The Judicial Conference prescribes miscellaneous fees for the courts of appeals, district courts, United States Court of Federal Claims, bankruptcy courts, and Judicial Panel on Multi district Litigation, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1913, 1914, 1926, 1930, and 1932, respectively. On recommendation of the Court Administration and Case Management Committee, the Conference raised many of these fees to account for inflation, as set forth below, effective December 1, 2016. The last time miscellaneous fees were increased for inflation was in September 2011.  Cuban Libertad Act Filing: Current Fee US$6,355.00.  New Fee US$6,548.00.” 

September 2018: “For filing an action brought under Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996, P.L. 104-114, 110 Stat. § 785 (1996), $6,548. (This fee is in addition to the filing fee prescribed in 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) for instituting any civil action other than a writ of habeas corpus.) 

Related: 28 U.S. Code § 1914 - District court; filing and miscellaneous fees; rules of court (a) The clerk of each district court shall require the parties instituting any civil action, suit or proceeding in such court, whether by original process, removal or otherwise, to pay a filing fee of $350, except that on application for a writ of habeas corpus the filing fee shall be $5.” 

Certified Claims Background 

There are 8,821 claims of which 5,913 awards valued at US$1,902,202,284.95 were certified by the USFCSC and have not been resolved for nearing sixty years.  The USFCSC permitted interest to be accrued in the amount of 6% per annum; with the current value of the 5,913 certified claims approximately US$8,521,866,156.95.  

The first asset to be expropriated by the Republic of Cuba was an oil refinery in 1960 owned by White Plains, New York-based Texaco, Inc., now a subsidiary of San Ramon, California-based Chevron Corporation (USFCSC: CU-1331/CU-1332/CU-1333 valued at US$56,196,422.73).  

The largest certified claim (Cuban Electric Company) valued at US$267,568,413.62 is controlled by Boca Raton, Florida-based Office Depot, Inc.  The second-largest certified claim (International Telephone and Telegraph Co, ITT as Trustee, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.) valued at US$181,808,794.14 is controlled by Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International.  The smallest certified claim is by Sara W. Fishman in the amount of US$1.00 with reference to the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust. 

The two (2) largest certified claims total US$449,377,207.76, representing 24% of the total value of the certified claims.  Thirty (30) certified claimants hold 56% of the total value of the certified claims.  This concentration of value creates an efficient pathway towards a settlement.   

Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 requires that an asset had a value of US$50,000.00 when expropriated by the Republic of Cuba without compensation to the original owner.   

Of the 5,913 certified claims, 913, or 15%, are valued at US$50,000.00 or more.  Adjusted for inflation, US$50,000.00 (3.70% per annum) in 1960 has a 2019 value of approximately US$427,267.01.  The USFCSC authorized 6% per annum, meaning the 2019 value of US$50,000.00 is approximately US$1,649,384.54.

LINK To Analysis In PDF Format

President Trump Extends National Emergencies Act For Cuba

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE  


February 19, 2019   

Dear Madam Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:) 

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days before the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date.  In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to Cuba that was declared on March 1, 1996, in Proclamation 6867, as amended by Proclamation 7757 on February 26, 2004, Proclamation 9398 on February 25, 2016, and Proclamation 9699 on February 22, 2018, is to continue in effect beyond February 22, 2019.

It continues to be United States policy that a mass migration from Cuba would endanger the security of the United States by posing a disturbance or threatened disturbance of the international relations of the United States.  The unauthorized entry of vessels subject to the jurisdiction of the United States into Cuban territorial waters is in violation of United States law and contrary to United States policy.  Further, the unauthorized entry of United States-registered vessels into Cuban territorial waters continues to be detrimental to United States foreign policy and counter to the purpose of Executive Order 12807 of May 24, 1992, which is to ensure, among other things, safe, orderly, and legal migration.  The possibility of large-scale unauthorized entries of United States-registered vessels would disturb the international relations of the United States by facilitating a possible mass migration of Cuban nationals.  For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to Cuba and the emergency authority relating to the regulation of the anchorage and movement of vessels set out in Proclamation 6867, as amended by Proclamation 7757, Proclamation 9398, and Proclamation 9699.

Sincerely, 

DONALD J. TRUMP

P20170614JB-0303-2-1920x720.jpg

Title IV Visa Restrictions For Executives Could Impact Companies With Combined Revenues Of US$500 Billion

Title IV- Restricting Travel Into The United States

21 Potential Targets In 11 Countries

One Company Already Restricted

2018 revenues approximately US$500 billion

2018 market capitalization approximately US$600 billion

What Will EU Do?  What Can EU Do?  Does US Care? 

On 17/18 March 2019, the Trump Administration is planning to permit Title III and further implement Title IV of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (known as “Libertad Act”).   

Title III authorizes lawsuits in United States District Courts against companies and individuals who are using a certified claim where the owner of the certified claim has not received compensation from the Republic of Cuba or from a third-party who is using the asset.   

Title IV restricts entry into the United States by individuals who have connectivity to unresolved certified claims.  One company is currently subject to this provision.   

There is a rationale for companies and individuals who are targets of Title IV actions by the United States Department of State to find commercial, economic and political value from negotiating a settlement(s) with a plaintiff(s). 

Upon settlement, the companies and individuals may no longer be subject to impediments to their operations relating to the Republic of Cuba and other countries which are a focus of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury and of the Office of Legal Adviser (OLA) of the United States Department of State. 

Settlements would reasonably result in an increase to the operational value of an asset located in the Republic of Cuba- the value of the asset increases as governments, financial institutions, investors, partners, and suppliers have increased confidence in long-term market-based viability. 

With settlement, there could be commercial, economic and political value to those who were subject to certified claims from having an ongoing presence of companies and individuals subject to United States jurisdiction as a shareholder, partner or leaseholder- meaning that if a company settles with the owner of an asset, and the owner is of Cuban descent residing in the United States or an individual not of Cuban descent, or company located in the United States, there may be an optical and practical benefit- lessening stigma, lessening risk, increasing opportunity and increasing value of the asset.    

What Is Title IV? 

SEC. 401. EXCLUSION FROM THE UNITED STATES OF ALIENS WHO HAVE CONFISCATED PROPERTY OF UNITED STATES NATIONALS OR WHO TRAFFIC IN SUCH PROPERTY. 

(a) Grounds for Exclusion.--The Secretary of State shall deny a visa to, and the Attorney General shall exclude from the United States, any alien who the Secretary of State determines is a person who, after the date of the enactment of this Act-- (1) has confiscated, or has directed or overseen the confiscation of, property a claim to which is owned by a United States national, or converts or has converted for personal gain confiscated property, a claim to which is owned by a United States national; (2) traffics in confiscated property, a claim to which is owned by a United States national; (3) is a corporate officer, principal, or shareholder with a controlling interest of an entity which has been involved in the confiscation of property or trafficking in confiscated property, a claim to which is owned by a United States national; or (4) is a spouse, minor child, or agent of a person excludable under paragraph (1), (2), or (3). 

Executives From Canadian Company Remain Subject To Title IV 

From Media Reports on 10/11 July 1996: Under the measures announced today (10 July 1996) by the State Department, the director of the Toronto-based company, Sherritt International Corp., will be barred from entering the United States, along with eight of his top officers and their immediate families. The ban will take effect in six weeks, after a waiting period designed to allow the company time to terminate its investments in Cuba.  At a briefing in Washington announcing the notification of the company executives affected, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns defended the provision affecting families as “likely to enhance . . . the threat that is contained very clearly in Helms-Burton.”  Burns said company executives were notified in letters dated Tuesday that after 45 days, they will not be allowed to enter the United States. The period is supposed to allow the company time to reconsider its investments in Cuba.  “It is unconventional,” Burns said. “It is a very tough action that we are taking today.” 

Potential Targets For Visa Action 

The following companies have been mentioned by claimants (certified and non-certified) as potential targets of lawsuits using provisions of Title IV.    

The targeted companies will expectedly be those who have meaningful financial exposure within the Republic of Cuba and, but not necessarily, have meaningful financial exposure within the United States.  In some instances, the reputational impact upon a company may, rather than the financial exposure, be a catalyst for agreeing to a settlement. 

The combined revenues of the companies in 2018 were approximately US$500 billion and the combined market capitalization of the companies in 2018 was approximately US$600 billion

Amstelveen, Netherlands-based KLM 

Beijing, China-based Air China

Frankfurt, Germany-based Lufthansa

Geneva, Switzerland-based MSC Cruises

Istanbul, Turkey-based Turkish Airlines

London, United Kingdom-based (controlled by Turkey-based interests) Global Ports Holding

London, United Kingdom/Rotterdam, Netherlands-based Unilever

Madrid, Spain-based Iberia Airlines

Madrid, Spain-based NH Hotel Group

Moscow, Russia-based Gazprom

Palma de Mallorca, Spain-based Iberostar Hotels & Resorts

Palma de Mallorca, Spain-based Melia Hotels International

Paris, France-based Accor SA

Paris, France-based Air France

Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard

Shenzhen, China-based Huawei Technologies

Tokyo, Japan-based Mitsubishi Group

Toulouse, France-based Newrest Group Holding

Toronto, Canada-based Air Canada

Toronto, Canada-based Sherritt International

Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestle SA 

Certified Claims Background 

There are 8,821 claims of which 5,913 awards valued at US$1,902,202,284.95 were certified by the USFCSC and have not been resolved for nearing sixty years.  The USFCSC permitted interest to be accrued in the amount of 6% per annum; with the current value of the 5,913 certified claims approximately US$8,521,866,156.95.  

The first asset to be expropriated by the Republic of Cuba was an oil refinery in 1960 owned by White Plains, New York-based Texaco, Inc., now a subsidiary of San Ramon, California-based Chevron Corporation (USFCSC: CU-1331/CU-1332/CU-1333 valued at US$56,196,422.73).  

The largest certified claim (Cuban Electric Company) valued at US$267,568,413.62 is controlled by Boca Raton, Florida-based Office Depot, Inc.  The second-largest certified claim (International Telephone and Telegraph Co, ITT as Trustee, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.) valued at US$181,808,794.14 is controlled by Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International.  The smallest certified claim is by Sara W. Fishman in the amount of US$1.00 with reference to the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust. 

The two (2) largest certified claims total US$449,377,207.76, representing 24% of the total value of the certified claims.  Thirty (30) certified claimants hold 56% of the total value of the certified claims.  This concentration of value creates an efficient pathway towards a settlement.   

Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 requires that an asset had a value of US$50,000.00 when expropriated by the Republic of Cuba without compensation to the original owner.  Of the 5,913 certified claims, 913, or 15%, are valued at US$50,000.00 or more.  Adjusted for inflation, US$50,000.00 (3.70% per annum) in 1960 has a 2019 value of approximately US$427,267.01.  The USFCSC authorized 6% per annum, meaning the 2019 value of US$50,000.00 is approximately US$1,649,384.54.  

The ITT Corporation Agreement 

In July 1997, then-New York City, New York-based ITT Corporation and then-Amsterdam, the Netherlands-based STET International Netherlands N.V. signed an agreement whereby STET International Netherlands N.V. would pay approximately US$25 million to ITT Corporation for a ten-year right (after which the agreement could be renewed and was renewed) to use assets (telephone facilities and telephone equipment) within the Republic of Cuba upon which ITT Corporation has a certified claim valued at approximately US$130.8 million.  ETECSA, which is now wholly-owned by the government of the Republic of Cuba, was a joint venture controlled by the Ministry of Information and Communications of the Republic of Cuba within which Amsterdam, the Netherlands-based Telecom Italia International N.V. (formerly Stet International Netherlands N.V.), a subsidiary of Rome, Italy-based Telecom Italia S.p.A. was a shareholder.  Telecom Italia S.p.A., was at one time a subsidiary of Ivrea, Italy-based Olivetti S.p.A.  The second-largest certified claim (International Telephone and Telegraph Co, ITT as Trustee, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.) valued at US$181,808,794.14 is controlled by Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International.  

Libertad Act of 1996

Sec. 306. Effective date.

TITLE IV--EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN ALIENS 

SEC. 401. EXCLUSION FROM THE UNITED STATES OF ALIENS WHO HAVE CONFISCATED PROPERTY OF UNITED STATES NATIONALS OR WHO TRAFFIC IN SUCH PROPERTY. 

(a) Grounds for Exclusion.--The Secretary of State shall deny a visa to, and the Attorney General shall exclude from the United States, any alien who the Secretary of State determines is a person who, after the date of the enactment of this Act--  (1) has confiscated, or has directed or overseen the confiscation of, property a claim to which is owned by a United States national, or converts or has converted for personal gain confiscated property, a claim to which is owned by a United States national; (2) traffics in confiscated property, a claim to which is owned by a United States national;  (3) is a corporate officer, principal, or shareholder with a controlling interest of an entity which has been involved in the confiscation of property or trafficking in confiscated property, a claim to which is owned by a United States national; or (4) is a spouse, minor child, or agent of a person excludable under paragraph (1), (2), or (3). 

(b) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following terms have the following meanings: (1) Confiscated; confiscation.--The terms "confiscated" and "confiscation" refer to-- (A) the nationalization, expropriation, or other seizure by the Cuban Government of ownership or control of property-- (i) without the property having been returned or adequate and effective compensation provided; Or (ii) without the claim to the property having been settled pursuant to an international claims settlement agreement or other mutually accepted settlement procedure; and (B) the repudiation by the Cuban Government of, the default by the Cuban Government on, or the failure of the Cuban Government to pay-- (i) a debt of any enterprise which has been nationalized, expropriated, or otherwise taken by the Cuban Government; (ii) a debt which is a charge on property nationalized, expropriated, or otherwise taken by the Cuban Government; or (iii) a debt which was incurred by the Cuban Government in satisfaction or settlement of a confiscated property claim. 

(2) Traffics.--(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a person "traffics" in confiscated property if that person knowingly and intentionally-- (i) (I) transfers, distributes, dispenses, brokers, or otherwise disposes of confiscated property, (II) purchases, receives, obtains control of, or otherwise acquires confiscated property, or (III) improves (other than for routine maintenance), invests in (by contribution of funds or anything of value, other than for routine maintenance), or begins after the date of the enactment of this Act to manage, lease, possess, use, or hold an interest in confiscated property, (ii) enters into a commercial arrangement using or otherwise benefiting from confiscated property, or (iii) causes, directs, participates in, or profits from, trafficking (as described in clause (i) or (ii)) by another person, or otherwise engages in trafficking (as described in clause (i) or (ii)) through another person, without the authorization of any United States national who holds a claim to the property. 

(B) The term "traffics" does not include-- (i) the delivery of international telecommunication signals to Cuba; (ii) the trading or holding of securities publicly traded or held, unless the trading is with or by a person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury to be a specially designated national; (iii) transactions and uses of property incident to lawful travel to Cuba, to the extent that such transactions and uses of property are necessary to the conduct of such travel; or (iv) transactions and uses of property by a person who is both a citizen of Cuba and a resident of Cuba, and who is not an official of the Cuban Government or the ruling political party in Cuba.  (c) Exemption.--This section shall not apply where the Secretary of State finds, on a case by case basis, that the entry into the United States of the person who would otherwise be excluded under this section is necessary for medical reasons or for purposes of litigation of an action under title III.

LINK To Libertad Act Of 1996

LINK To Complete Analysis In PDF Format

$_1.JPG

Title III Lawsuits For Cuba Expropriations Could Impact 20 Countries And 6 U.S. States

Title III- Lawsuits May Be Filed

30 Potential Targets

20 Countries

6 U.S. States

913 Plaintiffs?

2018 revenues approximately US$678 billion

2018 market capitalization approximately US$860 billion

Defendants Will Have Resources For Global Legal Defense

Settlement May Be The Most Profitable

Will They Settle?

What Will EU Do?  What Can EU Do?  Does US Care? 

On 17/18 March 2019, the Trump Administration is planning to permit Title III and further implement Title IV of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (known as “Libertad Act”).   

Title III authorizes lawsuits in United States District Courts against companies and individuals who are using a certified claim where the owner of the certified claim has not received compensation from the Republic of Cuba or from a third-party who is using the asset.   

Title IV restricts entry into the United States by individuals who have connectivity to unresolved certified claims.  One company is currently subject to this provision. 

There is a rationale for companies and individuals who are targets of Title III lawsuits to find commercial, economic and political value from negotiating a settlement(s) with a plaintiff(s). 

Upon settlement, the companies and individuals may no longer be subject to impediments to their operations relating to the Republic of Cuba and other countries which are a focus of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury and of the Office of Legal Adviser (OLA) of the United States Department of State. 

Settlements would reasonably result in an increase to the operational value of an asset located in the Republic of Cuba- the value of the asset increases as governments, financial institutions, investors, partners, and suppliers have increased confidence in long-term market-based viability. 

With settlement, there could be commercial, economic and political value to those who were subject to certified claims from having an ongoing presence of companies and individuals subject to United States jurisdiction as a shareholder, partner or leaseholder- meaning that if a company settles with the owner of an asset, and the owner is of Cuban descent residing in the United States or an individual not of Cuban descent, or company located in the United States, there may be an optical and practical benefit- lessening stigma, lessening risk, increasing opportunity and increasing value of the asset.    

Potential Lawsuit Targets 

The following companies have been mentioned by claimants (certified and non-certified) as potential targets of lawsuits using provisions of Title III.  A company could be subject to multiple lawsuits.   

If the Trump Administration authorizes the use of Title III by some certified claimants and some non-certified claimants while not authorizing the use of Title III by other certified claimants and other non-certified claimants, there may be legal challenges by those excluded from access to Title III.   

The targeted companies will expectedly be those who have meaningful financial exposure within the Republic of Cuba and have meaningful financial exposure within the United States.  In some instances, the reputational impact upon a company may, rather than the financial exposure, be a catalyst for agreeing to a settlement. 

The combined revenues of the companies in 2018 were approximately US$678 billion and the combined market capitalization of the companies in 2018 was approximately US$860 billion

Amstelveen, Netherlands-based KLM 

Atlanta, Georgia-based Delta Air Lines

Beijing, China-based Air China

Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International

Chicago, Illinois-based United Airlines

Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines

Dallas, Texas-based Southwest Airlines

Frankfurt, Germany-based Lufthansa

Geneva, Switzerland-based MSC Cruises

Istanbul, Turkey-based Turkish Airlines

London, United Kingdom-based (controlled by Turkey-based interests) Global Ports Holding

London, United Kingdom/Rotterdam, Netherlands-based Unilever

Long Island City, New York-based Jet Blue Airways

Madrid, Spain-based Iberia Airlines

Madrid, Spain-based NH Hotel Group

Miami, Florida-based Carnival Corporation & plc

Miami, Florida-based Norwegian Cruise Line

Miami, Florida-based Royal Caribbean International

Moscow, Russia-based Gazprom

Palma de Mallorca, Spain-based Iberostar Hotels & Resorts

Palma de Mallorca, Spain-based Melia Hotels International

Paris, France-based Accor SA

Paris, France-based Air France

Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard

Shenzhen, China-based Huawei Technologies

Tokyo, Japan-based Mitsubishi Group

Toulouse, France-based Newrest Group Holding

Toronto, Canada-based Air Canada

Toronto, Canada-based Sherritt International

Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestle SA 

Certified Claims Background 

There are 8,821 claims of which 5,913 awards valued at US$1,902,202,284.95 were certified by the USFCSC and have not been resolved for nearing sixty years.  The USFCSC permitted interest to be accrued in the amount of 6% per annum; with the current value of the 5,913 certified claims approximately US$8,521,866,156.95.  

The first asset to be expropriated by the Republic of Cuba was an oil refinery in 1960 owned by White Plains, New York-based Texaco, Inc., now a subsidiary of San Ramon, California-based Chevron Corporation (USFCSC: CU-1331/CU-1332/CU-1333 valued at US$56,196,422.73).  

The largest certified claim (Cuban Electric Company) valued at US$267,568,413.62 is controlled by Boca Raton, Florida-based Office Depot, Inc.  The second-largest certified claim (International Telephone and Telegraph Co, ITT as Trustee, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.) valued at US$181,808,794.14 is controlled by Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International.  The smallest certified claim is by Sara W. Fishman in the amount of US$1.00 with reference to the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust. 

The two (2) largest certified claims total US$449,377,207.76, representing 24% of the total value of the certified claims.  Thirty (30) certified claimants hold 56% of the total value of the certified claims.  This concentration of value creates an efficient pathway towards a settlement.   

Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 requires that an asset had a value of US$50,000.00 when expropriated by the Republic of Cuba without compensation to the original owner.  Of the 5,913 certified claims, 913, or 15%, are valued at US$50,000.00 or more.  Adjusted for inflation, US$50,000.00 (3.70% per annum) in 1960 has a 2019 value of approximately US$427,267.01.  The USFCSC authorized 6% per annum, meaning the 2019 value of US$50,000.00 is approximately US$1,649,384.54.  

The ITT Corporation Agreement 

In July 1997, then-New York City, New York-based ITT Corporation and then-Amsterdam, the Netherlands-based STET International Netherlands N.V. signed an agreement whereby STET International Netherlands N.V. would pay approximately US$25 million to ITT Corporation for a ten-year right (after which the agreement could be renewed and was renewed) to use assets (telephone facilities and telephone equipment) within the Republic of Cuba upon which ITT Corporation has a certified claim valued at approximately US$130.8 million.  ETECSA, which is now wholly-owned by the government of the Republic of Cuba, was a joint venture controlled by the Ministry of Information and Communications of the Republic of Cuba within which Amsterdam, the Netherlands-based Telecom Italia International N.V. (formerly Stet International Netherlands N.V.), a subsidiary of Rome, Italy-based Telecom Italia S.p.A. was a shareholder.  Telecom Italia S.p.A., was at one time a subsidiary of Ivrea, Italy-based Olivetti S.p.A.  The second-largest certified claim (International Telephone and Telegraph Co, ITT as Trustee, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.) valued at US$181,808,794.14 is controlled by Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International.  

TITLE III--SEC. 302. LIABILITY FOR TRAFFICKING IN CONFISCATED PROPERTY CLAIMED BY UNITED STATES NATIONALS. 

(a) Civil Remedy.-- (1) Liability for trafficking.--(A) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person that, after the end of the 3-month period beginning on the effective date of this title, traffics in property which was confiscated by the Cuban Government on or after January 1, 1959, shall be liable to any United States national who owns the claim to such property for money damages in an amount equal to the sum of-- (i) the amount which is the greater of-- (I) the amount, if any, certified to the claimant by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, plus interest; (II) the amount determined under section 303(a)(2), plus interest; or (III) the fair market value of that property, calculated as being either the current value of the property, or the value of the property when confiscated plus interest, whichever is greater; and (ii) court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.  (B) Interest under subparagraph (A)(i) shall be at the rate set forth in section 1961 of title 28, United States Code, computed by the court from the date of confiscation of the property involved to the date on which the action is brought under this subsection.   

(2) Presumption in favor of the certified claims.--There shall be a presumption that the amount for which a person is liable under clause (i) of paragraph (1)(A) is the amount that is certified as described in subclause (I) of that clause. The presumption shall be rebuttable by clear and convincing evidence that the amount described in subclause (II) or (III) of that clause is the appropriate amount of liability under that clause. 

(3) Increased liability.--(A) Any person that traffics in confiscated property for which liability is incurred under paragraph (1) shall, if a United States national owns a claim with respect to that property which was certified by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, be liable for damages computed in accordance with subparagraph (C).   

(B) If the claimant in an action under this subsection (other than a United States national to whom subparagraph (A) applies) provides, after the end of the 3-month period described in paragraph (1) notice to-- (i) a person against whom the action is to be initiated, or (ii) a person who is to be joined as a defendant in the action, at least 30 days before initiating the action or joining such person as a defendant, as the case may be, and that person, after the end of the 30- day period beginning on the date the notice is provided, traffics in the confiscated property that is the subject of the action, then that person shall be liable to that claimant for damages computed in accordance with subparagraph (C).   

(C) Damages for which a person is liable under subparagraph (A) or subparagraph (B) are money damages in an amount equal to the sum of-- (i) the amount determined under paragraph (1)(A)(ii), and (ii) 3 times the amount determined applicable under paragraph (1)(A)(i).  (D) Notice to a person under subparagraph (B)-- (i) shall be in writing; (ii) shall be posted by certified mail or personally delivered to the person; and (iii) shall contain-- (I) a statement of intention to commence the action under this section or to join the person as a defendant (as the case may be), together with the reasons therefor; (II) a demand that the unlawful trafficking in the claimant's property cease immediately; and (III) a copy of the summary statement published under paragraph (8).  (4) Applicability.--(A) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, actions may be brought under paragraph (1) with respect to property confiscated before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act. 

(B) In the case of property confiscated before the date of the enactment of this Act, a United States national may not bring an action under this section on a claim to the confiscated property unless such national acquires ownership of the claim before such date of enactment.  (C) In the case of property confiscated on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, a United States national who, after the property is confiscated, acquires ownership of a claim to the property by assignment for value, may not bring an action on the claim under this section.   

(5) Treatment of certain actions.--(A) In the case of a United States national who was eligible to file a claim with the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 but did not so file the claim, that United States national may not bring an action on that claim under this section.  (B) In the case of any action brought under this section by a United States national whose underlying claim in the action was timely filed with the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 but was denied by the Commission, the court shall accept the findings of the Commission on the claim as conclusive in the action under this section. 

(C) A United States national, other than a United States national bringing an action under this section on a claim certified under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, may not bring an action on a claim under this section before the end of the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act. 

(D) An interest in property for which a United States national has a claim certified under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 may not be the subject of a claim in an action under this section by any other person. Any person bringing an action under this section whose claim has not been so certified shall have the burden of establishing for the court that the interest in property that is the subject of the claim is not the subject of a claim so certified.  (6) Inapplicability of act of state doctrine.--No court of the United States shall decline, based upon the act of state doctrine, to make a determination on the merits in an action brought under paragraph (1) . 

(7) Licenses not required.--(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an action under this section may be brought and may be settled, and a judgment rendered in such action may be enforced, without obtaining any license or other permission from any agency of the United States, except that this paragraph shall not apply to the execution of a judgment against, or the settlement of actions involving, property blocked under the authorities of section 5(b) of the Trading with the Enemy Act that were being exercised on July 1, 1977, as a result of a national emergency declared by the President before such date, and are being exercised on the date of the enactment of this Act.

LINK To Complete Text Of Libertad Act Of 1996

LINK To Complete Analysis In PDF Format

31976-optimized_59055d0b059d4.jpg

Senator Klobuchar Could Be A Catalyst For Claims Or Her Candidacy Could Doom Her Legislation

Senator Klobuchar Could Be A Hero To 5,913 Companies & Individuals

Being Catalyst To Settle 58-Year Problem Is Good Presidential Politics

Her Candidacy Could Also Doom The Effort

Company In Her State Has Certified Claim

Four Senators Will Try To Prevail To Derail

Impact Of Trump Administration March 2019 Title III/Title IV Decision

Embassy Meeting

Cuba: Ask For Assistance- Quickly

Risking Another Tombstone In The Legislative Graveyard 

The Honorable Amy Klobuchar (D- Minnesota), a member of the United States Senate, has framed two (2) announcements- each may impact upon the success of the other.   

Senator Klobuchar, elected to a third term in 2018, was first elected to the United States Senate in 2006.  

On 10 February 2019, Senator Klobuchar commenced an effort to obtain the nomination in 2020 of the Democratic Party for President of the United States.  That announcement could jeopardize any legislation attached to her as opponents (Democratic, Republican, Independent) of her candidacy seek to limit her successes.   

On 8 February 2019, Senator Klobuchar introduced legislation that would make changes to provisions of United States statutes that impact the commercial, economic and political bilateral relationship between the United States and the Republic of Cuba. 

That legislation. S. 428 (“A bill to lift the trade embargo on Cuba”), does “not repeal portions of law that address human rights or property claims against the Cuban government.”  Why not?  Then they must be important. 

Maplewood, Minnesota-based 3M (2018 revenues approximately US$32 billion) has the 615th largest certified claim (CU-0242) against the Republic of Cuba in the amount of US$94,409.20.  Adjusted for inflation (3.70% annual rate), the certified claim is valued at approximately US$835,102.34 in 2019.  Adjusted for 6% annual interest as permitted by the United States Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (USFCSC- https://www.justice.gov/fcsc) at the United States Department of Justice, the certified claim is valued at approximately US$3,114,341.50 in 2019.   

Initial co-sponsors of the legislation are The Honorable Mike Enzi (R- Wyoming) and The Honorable Patrick Leahy (D- Vermont.  There appear not to be any certified claimants located in the states of Wyoming or Vermont.  

Certified Claims Background 

There are 8,821 claims of which 5,913 awards valued at US$1,902,202,284.95 were certified by the USFCSC and have not been resolved for nearing sixty years.  The USFCSC permitted interest to be accrued in the amount of 6% per annum; with the current value of the 5,913 certified claims approximately US$8,521,866,156.95.  

The first asset to be expropriated by the Republic of Cuba was an oil refinery in 1960 owned by White Plains, New York-based Texaco, Inc., now a subsidiary of San Ramon, California-based Chevron Corporation (USFCSC: CU-1331/CU-1332/CU-1333 valued at US$56,196,422.73).  

The largest certified claim (Cuban Electric Company) valued at US$267,568,413.62 is controlled by Boca Raton, Florida-based Office Depot, Inc.  The second-largest certified claim (International Telephone and Telegraph Co, ITT as Trustee, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.) valued at US$181,808,794.14 is controlled by Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International.  The smallest certified claim is by Sara W. Fishman in the amount of US$1.00 with reference to the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Voting Trust. 

The two (2) largest certified claims total US$449,377,207.76, representing 24% of the total value of the certified claims.  Thirty (30) certified claimants hold 56% of the total value of the certified claims.  This concentration of value creates an efficient pathway towards a settlement by providing a logistically-reasonable individual and group outreach opportunity.   

Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 authorizes lawsuits in United States District Courts against entities that are using a certified claim where the owner of the certified claim has not received compensation from the Republic of Cuba or from a third-party who is using the asset.  Title IV restricts entry into the United States of individuals who have connectivity to unresolved certified claims. 

Title III requires that an asset had a value of US$50,000.00 when expropriated by the Republic of Cuba without compensation to the original owner.  Of the 5,913 certified claims, 913, or 15%, are valued at US$50,000.00 or more.  Adjusted for inflation, US$50,000.00 (3.70% per annum) in 1960 has a 2019 value of approximately US$427,267.01.  The USFCSC authorized 6% per annum, thus the 2019 value of US$50,000.00 is approximately US$1,649,384.54.   

Headwinds (Derailment) For The Legislation  

With the three senators specifically excluding from their legislation any impact upon the certified claims, they are confirming the fundamental importance of the certified claims, the rights of the certified claimants, and that the Republic of Cuba must agree to a settlement of the certified claims. 

Which leads to the question of why these three senators have focused their public advocacy for changing the bilateral commercial relationship between the United States and the Republic of Cuba, but not public advocacy on behalf of the certified claimants- one of which is a constituent of Senator Klobuchar?  

If the three senators have been convinced by advocates that excluding any impact upon the certified claimants from the legislation will create another “path forward” for the legislation through the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives, they have been misled. 

By excluding the certified claims from the legislation, the three senators likely ensure an outcome they may not desire. 

At least four (4) members of the United States Senate will oppose the legislation with every legislative tool available to them.   

The Honorable Marco Rubio (R- Florida), The Honorable Ted Cruz (R- Texas), The Honorable Rick Scott (R- Florida) and The Honorable Robert Menendez (D- New Jersey) will require the legislation (unless they scuttle it) to 1) have a settlement of the certified claims in advance of the implementation of the legislation and 2) substantial carve-outs for any interaction with entities controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of the Republic of Cuba (FAR).   

The four senators will have support from a bipartisan group of their colleagues including committee chairs and sub-committee chairs. 

Those efforts in the United States Senate will be joined by members of the United States House of Representatives, including those from the State of Florida and the State of New Jersey; along with members who are committee chairs and sub-committee chairs. 

The Trump Administration 

The Trump Administration is focusing upon seeking a resolution of the certified claims and is expected to implement (partially or fully) Title III and enhance activity relating to Title IV of Libertad on 17/18 March 2019.   

For Senator Klobuchar 

Senator Klobuchar would be served well by convening a meeting in Washington DC with the Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to the United States where all co-sponsors of the legislation, as one group, would convey the importance of the Republic of Cuba negotiating a settlement of the certified claims and obtaining a commitment to negotiate a settlement of the certified claims.   

In December 2018, a proposal was submitted to the Republic of Cuba and to the Trump Administration that would create a specific timetable to reach a settlement. LINK:    https://www.cubatrade.org/blog/2018/11/18/lojx6s6oe5epgonh6mub855d5ak143 

While advocating for legislation, Senator Klobuchar and her co-sponsors and supporters should encourage the implementation of Direct Correspondent Banking by Conway, Arkansas-based Home BancShares (2018 assets approximately US$14 billion).  In September 2017, Pompano, Florida-based Stonegate Bank (2017 assets approximately US$2.9 billion) was purchased by Home BancShares through its Centennial Bank subsidiary:   

In 2015, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury authorized Stonegate Bank to have an account with BICSA.  Stonegate Bank provides commercial operating accounts for the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Washington, DC and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cuba to the United Nations in New York City; the financial institution also handles other types of OFAC-authorized transactions.  Stonegate Bank has a correspondent account with Republic of Cuba government-operated Banco Internacional de Comercia SA (BICSA).  However, because BICSA does not have a correspondent account with Stonegate Bank, the fully-operational direct correspondent relationship does not exist, and a multi-country triangular payment process continues- financial institutions in third countries have received fees on more than US$5.8 billion in transactions during the last eighteen years.  The Obama Administration did not authorize BICSA under a general OFAC license or reportedly in the OFAC license issued to Stonegate Bank for it to have an account with Stonegate Bank, so Stonegate Bank has processed some transactions through Panama City, Panama-based Multibank, which has dealings with the Republic of Cuba.   

For The Republic Of Cuba 

The Republic of Cuba needs to uncouple its issues with the Trump Administration from the 5,913 certified claimants.   

The negotiation to settle the certified claims must not be linked to the value the Republic of Cuba places (previously stated as a cumulative US$900 billion) upon the impact of statutes, regulations and policies by the United States since 1960.   

One issue (US$1,902,202,284.95 to US$8,521,866,156.95) which represents assets expropriated without compensation from private entities has no linkage to the perceived value (US$900 billion) of actions by one government against another.   

According to one New York City, New York-based attorney, “They are distinct from one another and attempts to conflate them only delays reckoning and harms the aspirations of the citizens of Cuba and the ROI (Return on Investment) of those governments and companies who have engaged with Cuba during the last fifty-eight years.”  

Maintaining one issue must be negotiated with the other issue may transition certified claimants from a benign group, but which does include some with enthusiasm to seek a settlement, into an attorney-inspired aggressive lot- and the worst outcome would be for the largest certified claimants to become aggressive globally.  It only takes one to create a fire from a spark.  

The Obama Administration and Castro Administration failed to use their unique moment from 17 December 2014 through 20 January 2017 to begin negotiations to settle the certified claims; there is an opportunity for the Diaz-Canel Administration to succeed where predecessors failed. 

If the Diaz-Canel Administration can seek assistance from third parties- European Union (EU)-member countries, specifically France, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with Canada, then it should do so promptly.  They can assist with outreach directly to the largest of the certified claimants where the response is likely to be positive. 

Final Thought 

Without a resolution of the certified claims, or at minimum an implemented negotiation process that has a reasonable expectation for success, the legislation proposed by Senator Klobuchar is unlikely to remain intact and could be destined for an already robust legislative graveyard.

LINK To Complete Analysis In PDF Format

klobuchar-11-ap-er-190210_hpMain_16x9_992.jpg

Commenced In 2016, Stonegate Bank's MasterCard Products Will No Longer Be Valid In Cuba As Of March 2019

As of 5 March 2019, Pompano Beach, Florida-based Stonegate Bank (now known as Centennial Bank) is discontinuing its MasterCard branded credit cards that were valid for use in the Republic of Cuba.  According to a customer service representative, the Stonegate Bank Credit Card Program is being discontinued for both consumers and businesses.  According to the text (first published and then provided by www.cubastandard.com) of a 5 February 2019 letter to customers, “Cuba enabled credit cards are no longer available.” 

In September 2017, Stonegate Bank (2017 assets approximately US$2.9 billion) was purchased by Conway, Arkansas-based Home BancShares (2018 assets approximately US$14 billion) through its Centennial Bank subsidiary. 

Neither Centennial Bank nor Home BancShares has issued a statement as to the reason(s) for the discontinuation of the credit cards for use in the Republic of Cuba.   

Natbank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Bank of Canada that has operated in Florida for more than twenty years, confirms that its Mastercard credit card is valid for use in the Republic of Cuba.  Natbank has locations in Boynton Beach, Hollywood and Pompano Beach. San Juan, Puerto Rico-based Banco Popular of Puerto Rico, like Natbank, has authorization from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury and from the Central Bank of the Republic of Cuba to have their Mastercard-branded credit cards and debit cards valid for use in the Republic of Cuba.  

14 June 2016- Stonegate Bank Issues MasterCard For Use In Cuba 

https://www.cubatrade.org/blog/2016/6/15/stonegate-bank-issues-mastercard-for-use-in-cuba?rq=stonegate%20bank 

19 November 2015- Stonegate Bank and MasterCard Enable U.S.-Issued Debit Cards for Use in Cuba 

https://www.cubatrade.org/blog/2015/11/19/t72fld4e3oy82ddga7e13qruje7oi8?rq=stonegate%20bank

Stonegate Bank and MasterCard Enable U.S.-Issued Debit Cards for Use in Cuba 

Stonegate is pleased to announce that the bank is now offering a Debit MasterCard that can be used at any of Cuba’s 10,000 hotels, restaurants and other card-accepting merchants. 

“This is the first step in relieving the burden of U.S. travelers carrying cash when travelling to Cuba and another step in normalizing commercial relations between the two countries. Hopefully more issuing banks will help this process by approving credit and debit cards as well,” said Dave Seleski, president and CEO of Stonegate Bank. 

Initially, cardholders will need to sign for all Debit MasterCard purchases. Stonegate expects to expand the use of the cards to ATMs in 2016. 

Before visiting Cuba, Stonegate cardholders will need to ensure they are traveling under one of the 12 categories authorized by U.S. regulations, including religious and professional purposes.

MasterCard originally removed its network block on U.S.-issued cards being used in Cuba in March 2015. Since then, federal rules left the final decision to each bank whether its cardholders will be allowed to use their cards on the island. 

“As the infrastructure continues to develop on the island, this milestone reinforces a collective effort, starting with last spring’s trade mission, to deliver our cardholders a convenient and safe way to pay when traveling to Cuba,” said Jeff Wilson, president. GeoCentral Division at MasterCard. 

For further information on obtaining a debit card, please visit www.stonegatebank.com. 

About Stonegate 

Stonegate Bank (NASDAQ: SGBK) is a full-service commercial bank, providing a wide range of business and consumer financial products and services through its 21 banking offices in its target marketplace of South and West Florida, which is comprised primarily of Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Sarasota Counties in Florida. As of September 30, 2015, Stonegate Bank had $2.31 billion in assets and $1.95 billion in deposits. Stonegate Bank’s principal executive office and mailing address is 400 North Federal Highway, Pompano Beach, Florida 33062 and its telephone number is (954) 315-5500. 

About MasterCard 

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities — such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances — easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau. 

14 October 2016- Starwood Has A Problem With Mastercard, Cuba's Central Bank, Stonegate Bank & Banco Popular De Puerto Rico 

https://www.cubatrade.org/blog/2016/10/14/starwood-has-a-problem-with-mastercard-cubas-central-bank-stonegate-bank-banco-popular-de-puerto-rico?rq=stonegate%20bank 

5 May 2018- Home BancShares Reports On Its Risks Associated With Cuba-Related Banking Services 

https://www.cubatrade.org/blog/2018/5/5/home-bancshares-reports-on-its-risks-associated-with-cuba-related-banking-services?rq=stonegate%20bank 

Direct Correspondent Banking has yet to be implemented by Home BancShares.  In September 2017, Stonegate Bank was purchased by Home BancShares through its Centennial Bank subsidiary:   

In 2015, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury authorized Stonegate Bank to have an account with BICSA.  Stonegate Bank provides commercial operating accounts for the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Washington, DC and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cuba to the United Nations in New York City; the financial institution also handles other types of OFAC-authorized transactions.  Stonegate Bank has a correspondent account with Republic of Cuba government-operated Banco Internacional de Comercia SA (BICSA).  However, because BICSA does not have a correspondent account with Stonegate Bank, the fully-operational direct correspondent relationship does not exist, and a multi-country triangular payment process continues- financial institutions in third countries have received fees on more than US$5.8 billion in transactions during the last eighteen years.  The Obama Administration did not authorize BICSA under a general OFAC license or reportedly in the OFAC license issued to Stonegate Bank for it to have an account with Stonegate Bank, so Stonegate Bank has processed some transactions through Panama City, Panama-based Multibank, which has dealings with the Republic of Cuba. 

Stonegate-credit-card-467x300.jpg

US Ag/Food Exports To Cuba Decreased 31.8% In November; Down By 17.4% For Year

ECONOMIC EYE ON CUBA©

January 2019

 

November 2018 Food/Ag Exports To Cuba Decrease 31.8%- 1

17.4% Decrease Year-To-Year-5

Cuba Ranks 58th Of 225 U.S. Food/Ag Export Markets- 2

November 2018 Healthcare Product Exports US$321,475.00- 2

November 2018 Humanitarian Donations US$1,558,200.00- 3

Obama Administration Initiatives Exports Continue To Increase- 3

U.S. Port Export Data- 15 

NOVEMBER 2018 FOOD/AG EXPORTS TO CUBA DECREASE 31.8%- Exports of food products and agricultural commodities from the United States to the Republic of Cuba in November 2018 were US$14,505,604.00 compared to US$21,277,713.00 in November 2017 and US$10,594,557.00 in November 2016. 

Exporters in November 2018 included among others: Atlanta, Georgia-based AJC International (poultry); Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Koch Foods (poultry); Atlanta, Georgia-based Intervision Foods (fish/poultry); Wellesley, Massachusetts-based Grove Services (poultry) and Little Rock, Arkansas-based Mountaire Farms (poultry).

For the period January 2018 through November 2018, exports were US$212,134,634.00 compared with US$256,836,606.00 during the same period in 2017.

LINK To Complete Report In PDF Format

Surviving-Your-First-Sales-Decrease.jpg