Whether evaluating in terms of the number of meetings to discuss a resolution to the certified claims by the United States against the Republic of Cuba since the beginning of the Obama Administration- three (3) meetings in 2,923 days or since the bilateral rapprochement on 17 December 2014- three (3) meetings in 766 days, the result is the same…. For the United States government to maintain that a resolution of the issue of the certified claims remains a “top priority” is painfully laughable.
Important to note that after the first meeting and the second meeting, the United States Department of State reported that a follow-up meeting to each had not been scheduled.
United States Department of State
“The United States and Cuba will hold the third government-to-government meeting on claims in Havana, Cuba, on January 12, 2017. The U.S. delegation will be led by Brian Egan, the Legal Adviser for the U.S. Department of State. The meeting will allow the delegations to build upon previous discussions in Havana and Washington, DC, and to exchange views on technical details and methodologies regarding outstanding claims.
Outstanding U.S. claims include claims of U.S. nationals that were certified by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, claims related to unsatisfied U.S. court judgments against Cuba, and claims held by the United States Government. The United States continues to view the resolution of these claims as a top priority.”
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Havana, Republic of Cuba
"CUBA, January 12, 2017. On Thursday, January 12, the third meeting between representatives of the governments of Cuba and the United States on the subject of mutual compensation was held in Havana. The Cuban delegation was chaired by Abelardo Moreno Fernández, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and the US, by Brian Egan, State Department legal adviser.
At this meeting, which continued in Washington on July 28, 2016, delegations continued the exchange on the claims of both States and evaluated possible mechanisms for joint settlement of mutual claims as part of the negotiation process of this complex theme.
The Cuban delegation reiterated that within the framework of this solution, it is essential to consider the claims of the Cuban people for human and economic damages, as reflected in the sentences issued by the Provincial People's Court of Havana in 1999 and 2000, respectively.
The representatives of both governments reiterated the importance and usefulness of continuing these exchanges. (Cubaminrex)"
Bilateral Meeting Timeline
17 December 2014 to 8 December 2015- 356 days between President Barack Obama’s 2,283-word statement (that did not mention certified claimants) and the first meeting of representatives from the government of the Republic of Cuba and the United States Department of State to discuss the issue of certified claims.
8 December 2015 and 28 July 2016- 233 days between the first meeting and second meeting of representatives from the government of the Republic of Cuba and the United States Department of State to discuss the issue of certified claims.
28 July 2016 to 12 January 2017- 168 days between the second meeting and third meeting of representatives from the government of the Republic of Cuba and the United States Department of State to discuss the issue of certified claims.
12 January 2017 to 20 January 2017- 8 days between the third meeting of representatives from the government of the Republic of Cuba and the United States Department of State to discuss the issue of certified claims and the end of the Obama Administration.
The soil upon which United States policy, regulations and laws sprouted since 1961 was created by the seizure of assets by the government of the Republic of Cuba.
There were 8,821 claims of which 5,913 awards have been 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.
Of these claims, thirty (30) United States-based companies hold 56.85% of the total value. The USFCSC permitted interest to be accrued in the amount of 6% per annum; with the current value ranging from US$6 billion to US$9 billion.
During the last twenty-three (23) months, the United States Department of State has failed to either create a viable foundation for a settlement of the certified claims or moved significantly forward the process from discussion to negotiation. They have had a chance. Now is a moment for a renewed dynamic.
The Obama Administration has professed that a settlement of the certified claims is a priority- a high priority. There were two meetings in twenty-three months. The date for a second meeting was not agreed to after the first meeting. The date for a third meeting was not agreed to after the second meeting. So much for the issue of the certified claims being a "top priority" and “high priority” for the Obama Administration.
Based upon the results, the Obama Administration would had no intention of negotiating a settlement, but remained content with the imagery of dialogue. The questions that the United States Department of State never answered:
- Why haven’t Certified Claimants Sector Working Groups been established?
- Why haven’t certified claimants been summoned to meetings at the United States Department of State to create a negotiating platform?
- Is there a Certified Claimants Committee? Thirty (30) of the certified claimants account for 56% of the principal value of the certified claims.
- Have Agendas been created- and followed?
- Have Modalities of Settlements been established?
- Where is the Guidance?
Relating Blog Posts: