STATEMENT BY THE HSA ON THE US GOVERNMENT THREAT TO ACTIVATE TITLE III OF THE
HELMS-BURTON ACT OF 1996
Friday, 25 January 2019
On January 16, 2019 the Donald Trump administration advised of its intention to activate Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.
The Helms-Burton Act (1996) has been consistently rejected, with near unanimity for two decades, by the United Nations General Assembly. Saint Lucia and all CARICOM and wider hemispheric States have always been party to such rejections of that grossly extraterritorial law, which allows the United States to dictate to even third countries how they should conduct their business affairs with Cuba. Several countries have passed their own national laws to deal with the extraterritorial effects of that law.
Among the key objectives of the Helms-Burton Act is to obstruct Cuba’s economic, commercial and financial relations with third countries, and undermine its ability to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) for its development. Titles III and IV of the law are expressly devoted to this purpose.
Title III establishes the authorization for United States nationals to file suits before U.S. courts against any alien who “traffics” U.S. property that was nationalized in Cuba in the 1960s. Even the United States Supreme Court has subsequently recognised the legitimacy of those nationalisations in 1960s Cuba. In the interim, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also reiterated Cuba’s willingness to find a solution to the associated mutual claims and compensations.
If Title III is applied as established by this law and as the announcement of the Department of State threatens, any Cuban and every community in Cuba will see claims brought before United States courts for ownership of the housing they occupy, their workplace, the schools their children attend, the polyclinics where they receive medical attention, the land on which their neighbourhoods are built. These are clear efforts also aimed at usurping Cuba’s wealth, infrastructure, arable land, industries, mining resources, energy potential, and the foundations on which science and technology are developed and services provided to the Cuban population.
The Humanistic Solidarity Association (Saint Lucia-Cuba) is of the view that the United States government, which advocates for respect of American law, should also respect Cuban law, and specifically in this instance, the Cuban Dignity and Sovereignty Act (Law No. 80), which emphasizes that the Helms-Burton Act is unlawful, unenforceable, void and without legal effect.
The Humanistic Solidarity Association wishes to advise the international community of its rejection of this effort aimed at the further deepening of US official hostility against Cuba and wishes to reiterate the call of the international community of nations through the United Nations General Assembly for the Donald Trump administration to heed and respect the clear and consistent rejection of the Helms-Burton Act of 1996.
The Humanistic Solidarity Association (Saint Lucia-Cuba) also wishes to express its dismay at this latest action to invoke Title III of the abominable Helms-Burton Act of 1996.
Humanistic Solidarity Association (Saint Lucia-Cuba)
25 January 2019