On Friday, July 14, 2017, the Trump administration joined the administrations of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama in suspending Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996, also known as the Helms-Burton Act, a controversial provision that would authorize lawsuits in U.S. courts to recover damages related to confiscated property in Cuba.
When the Castro regime came to power in Cuba in the late 1950s, it confiscated property from thousands of U.S. and other foreign individuals and companies. The U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC) evaluated the validity of claims for losses resulting from the expropriation and nationalization of property owned by U.S. nationals. In total, the Commission considered 8,821 claims and certified 5,913 claims to be compensable for a value of $1.9 billion (most, but not all, claims related to confiscated property).
Cuba has resolved claims for confiscated property with several other countries, including Canada, France, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, but it has not resolved claims with the United States. After July 2015, when the United States re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba, both governments have held information-sharing discussions regarding the outstanding claims. However, no funds have yet been made available for the claims, nor has a settlement with the Cuban government been reached. Continue Reading