Trump Asked to Prioritize Compensations in his Cuba Policy

June 7, 2017 |

Trump is expected to shortly announce how his administration will act with regard to Cuba after a long revision of his predecessor Barack Obama’s policies.

By Cubaencuentro

Bill Nelson and Marc Rubio. File photo: floridapolitics.com

HAVANA TIMES — Republican senator Marco Rubio and Democrat senator Bill Nelson have asked the Trump administration to give priority to compensation to US citizens who lost assets when Fidel Castro nationalized these at the onset of the Revolution.

In a letter sent to Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, which EFE news agency had access to on Tuesday, the abovementioned senators dwelled on the fact that companies run by the Cuban government have benefitted from assets that belong to US citizens.

“The U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC) has certified more than 5,900 claims against the Cuban Government for stolen property. These claims — now valued at approximately $8 billion — remain unresolved,” pointed out the senators.

“While the Cuban Government has manufactured ridiculous counter-claims to avoid responsibility, we urge you to seek fair compensation on behalf of these Americans as soon as possible,” these congressmen added.

To that end, these senators pressed the Trump Administration to work with Congress to develop “a plan and timeline to resolve these claims, as well as to instruct the FCSC to undertake a third Cuban Claims Program in order to allow possible new claimants.”

“Furthermore, we are writing to express our concern over the January 2016 decision allowing Cubaexport – a company run by the Cuban government – to renew its illegitimate claim on the trademark for “Havana Club” rum,” they added.

The legislators are claiming that Cubaexport registered the trademark for Havana Club in the United States “only after the Cuban Government stole the trademark from its original owners.”

Trump is expected to shortly announce how his administration’s policy with regard to Cuba after a long revision of the policies his predecessor, Barack Obama, put in place after he reestablished diplomatic relations with Cuba in December 2014 after over half a century of rupture.

Share this:

What's your opinion?

  • Alex

    We (Americans) should just drop the claims for compensation. All it serves as is a wedge that’ll hold back friendly relations to the country. And, frankly, Cuba doesn’t have the money to pay for it. Just let bygones be bygones.

    • Michael Ritchie

      And Cuba doesn’t owe it. Perhaps the Miami Mafia could go after the heirs of Fulgencio Batista and Meyer Lansky.

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        Its easy to be a philanthropist Michael Ritchie when the money belongs to other people.
        I should add that Cuba doesn’t owe me $1.
        I do however recall how in much more recent times the Castro regime confiscated the businesses of two Canadian companies.

        • Sky

          Isn’t this where people pile in saying that foreign companies knew what they were taking on when investing in Cuba and having your assets seized is just the flip side of hoping to open markets and make a profit in Cuba?

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Trying to mix business – which represents capitalism – and Communism is akin to trying to mix oil with water. Only an extreme optimist or a very ill-informed person if foreign, would invest in private business in Cuba.

      • Moses Patterson

        The Havana Libre Hotel (formerly Havana HILTON) is but one of the hundreds of properties the Castro stole that have nothing to do with the mafia or the previous dictatorship.

        • Michael Ritchie

          Havana Libre (renamed by Fidel after the Revolution) was built by Batista, in league with Meyer Lansky, using mafia money skimmed off gambling at Hotel Nacional.
          In 1959 after a short stint with his officers at Nacional, Fidel made his office in the Libre.

          • Moses Patterson

            It was owned and operated by the Hilton Hotel Corporation.

          • KAV

            Havana Hilton was operated by by the Hilton Hotel Corporation but not owned.

            http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=110228

          • Rich Haney

            Fantastic rebuttal, Moses, but you forgot to mention who owned and/or controlled the “Hilton Hotel Corporation” as far as Havana and Miami were concerned. It, uh, couldn’t have been Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano, could it?

          • editorht

            Check this post out with more information on the Habana Libre (Hilton) Hotel: http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=110228

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Just goes to demonstrate the immorality of the Castro regime in stealing from the supposed proleteriat. One awaits the comments from Rich Haney and his ‘ilk’ – that word is getting a lot of use!

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Michael Ritchie you are full of Bul*£hit, read the contribution from the Editor, Circles Robinson, below. Fidel confiscated the property of the workers!

        • Rich Haney

          Wow, Moses. You said “hundreds of properties” but I’m sure you meant “millions of properties,” or were you just finally tempering your assaults on little Cuba being the biggest evil in the history of this planet? The true history of Havana Libre Hotel registers it as a pure Mafia creation built by ill-gotten cash from the rape and robbery of the island. I believe you probably know that but why veer so far from the facts regarding Meyer Lansky’s $12 million mistake that he insisted on building even as the rebels were beginning their impressive march toward Santa Clara and then Havana. The rebels had seriously captured and held smaller cities and then targeted Santa Clara even as the Mob in Havana was celebrating the opening of their Havana Hilton, a name the rebel victors, especially Celia Sanchez, changed to Libre.

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        Even after war, reparations are a normal part of the process of restoring normal relationships – diplomatic and otherwise. Can you proof Michael Ritchie that all the property confiscated by the Castro regime was owned by the “heirs of Fulgencio Batista and Meyer Lansky” or is it just that you support dictatorship and theft by the communist dictatorship?
        That type of action did not as I pointed out below, cease following the revolution but has continued. The Castro’s are but modern Fagin’s.

      • Rich Haney

        But, Michael, the Miami Mafia wouldn’t be able to sue the Batista-Lansky heirs while hiding behind the skirts of the U. S. government, certainly not like they so successfully sued unrepresented Cuba in Miami courtrooms with the incredible fines being paid by the U. S. government, supposedly with “frozen” Cuban assets.

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      Are you one of the Americans who suffered financial loss Alex? Or are you only suggesting that people other than yourself should give up their claims?

      • Alex

        No, I suffered no loss. I’m just giving my opinions from the sidelines. I just think there’s no point in trying to squeeze blood from stone.

        • Moses Patterson

          There are a variety of ways to repay claimants in whole or in part. The lack of funds is no excuse. Cuba has other assets which may satisfy the people the Castro stole from.

          • Rich Haney

            Hiding behind the skirts of a superpower, counter-revolutionary extremists believe they can say and do anything and proclaim it fair appraisals of a multi-faceted situation. It is a blatant lie to maintain that EVERYTHING Revolutionary Cuba has ever done is wrong and EVERYTHING exiled counter-revolutionary extremists have done has been and will forever remain perfectly 100% correct and totally honest. That, of course, includes the brutal, murderous, rape and robbery on the island from 1952 till 1959 and extreme terrorist acts such as cannon-fire from speedboats murderously attacking coastal fishing cabins, the bombing of the civilian Cubana Flight 455, the car-bombing of Cuban-American newsman Emilio Milian in Miami because he criticized such terrorism, etc., etc., etc. And to assume that EVERY CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION AGAINST CUBA IS LEGITIMATE OR SHOULD BE DETERMINED IN A MIAMI COURTROOM IS SO RIDICULOUS THAT ONLY A CLASSICAL BULLY WOULD MAKE IT.

            Why not, for example, let the World Court in the Hague determine who should rightly own Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — former imperialists or the island itself. And, since 1903, should Cuba be compensated for THE LOSS of Guantanamo Bay? Of course, one of the primary families claiming compensation from Cuba is the Meyer Lansky family but, according to Moses and his ilk, Mafia kingpins like Meyer Lansky don’t even owe Cuba an apology…not for the thievery OR for the brutal assassinations of many Cuban student leaders such as Jose Antonio Echevarria, whose name is worth Googling if anyone is interesting in both sides of the equation..

            Democracy-loving Americans, I believe, view totally one-sided treatment of Cuba by pro-Batista, pro-Mafia or simply by opportunists taking advantage of the one-sided balance of power shames America and democracy far more than it shames supposedly helpless little Cuba. And it’s such distortions along with rampant bullying and lopsidedness, I believe, that accounts for such things as the 191-to-0 UN vote condemning U. S. treatment of Cuba by holier-than-thou entities in a superpower hiding behind that one-sided advantage much in the manner a 250-pound bully might gloat over stomping a much smaller and weaker victim. So, Moses, don’t shout about one-sided competition while conveniently assuming that no one ever heard of such things as the brutal Batista-Mafia rule of Cuba, Cubana Flight 455, Guantanamo Bay, Jose Antonio Echevarria, etc.

          • Moses Patterson

            I have an “ilk”?

          • Rich Haney

            Yes, Moses, didn’t you know you have an “ilk?” For example: “Moses and his ilk blame Revolutionary Cuba for everything while blaming Batista, the Mafia, and the Batistianos for nothing.”

          • The War At Home

            If claimants think they’ve been wronged they’re free to hire a lawyer and have their day in court like anyone else. I see no reason for the president of the United States to get involved in a civil matter that occurred over half of a century ago.

            Governments are allowed to seize private property for public use. The US government does it all of the time using public domain for reasons as trivial as building a sports stadium. The American government shouldn’t throw rocks while living in a glass house.

            Reparations are paid BY THE LOSERS of the war TO THE WINNERS. The Miami mafia lost. If anything they should be forced to pay for any damage they caused by attacking a sovereign nation.

          • Moses Patterson

            Just about everything that you wrote is wrong. In the first place it’s called Eminent Domain. Secondly, Cubans have sued the Castro dictatorship. They won. Collecting the judgement is another thing. The “Miami Mafia” you refer to are Doctors who lost their private practice. Professors who did not agree with the regime. Journalists, musicians, and homosexuals and lots of other people whose only crime was they did not support the Castros. None of them attacked Cuba.

          • The War At Home

            You’re right I screwed up the wording for Eminent Domain. Whats your point exactly? I suppose you think that invalidates everything I said?

            I don’t care about who they are. If they want to collect they should do so on their dime. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay to help foreigners collect on a private lawsuit. Also the US courts have no jurisdiction over actions that take place in Cuba. I highly doubt the brought a case in the Cuban court system and won.

            Exiles fought a war against the Cuban government. Not all of them actually served in Brigada Asalto 2506, just as not all American citizens served in the US Military during the Vietnam war. That doesn’t change the fact that the exile community waged war on Cuba, and lost. THEY should be paying reparations to the CUBAN GOVERNMENT. Not the other way around.

            All governments including the US government seize private property for government projects all of the time. Nothing unique there.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            So ‘The War at Home’, you must obviously agree that Cuba acting in conjunction with Syria in invading Israel (Yum Kippur War) ought to pay reparations to Israel – for as President Donald J. Trump(f) would say:
            “They were the losers.”

          • The War At Home

            Sure. If Cuba directly waged war against Israel and lost; then Israel has every right to demand reparations if they’re in a position to force Cuba to pay up.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            OK, you are consistent ‘The War At Home’. Cuba was a direct participant in the Yum Kippur, providing 500 tank drivers. Many of them were killed in service to their country, but there is no memorial and no anniversary held by the Castro regime in their memory.

  • curt9954

    The Americans who lost their assets after the revolution should have been aware of the risks in investing and OUTSOURCING JOBS in a foreign country.

  • Fidel Lledin

    Alex negros need to forget about slavery?

  • Ryan Ross

    The claimants were offered fair compensation for confiscated properties back in the early ’60s based on the stated worth of their properties that they had severely undervalued for tax purposes. They refused, thinking they were going to gain them back when the Revolution failed and they would return. They gambled and they lost.

  • joe

    Most of the claimants are former Cubans chased out by the Communists. After the Revolution, Che set up a slaughter shop and murdered those business or property owners foolish enough to stay. The smart folks fled with their lives.
    They deserve their day in court.

  • Edward Kale

    It is Cuba and the Cuban people that should receive compensation. We have been the agents of destruction for 57 years, condemned annually by every member of the UN except the U.S. and Israel for 25 years. Sadly, it appears that Big Bully Trump will pay homage to the vindictive supporters of Batista and their puppets Rubio, Menendez and Ros-Lehtinen in Miami on Friday. Shame on them!

    (I know Fidel Castro made many mistakes, but under Raul Castro and his successor, Cuba has a future with or without Trump and company.)

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      Obviously, Cuba has a future Edward Kale. The question is what sort of future?

      Can my six year old Godchild look forward to freedom of expression, to open multi-party elections, to being able to access information uncontrolled by the State or is she pre-ordained by the Communist Party of Cuba, to endeavour to exist under repression?