Helms-Burton Act rejected by world community

Almost the entire international community has expressed at the UN or in isolation its refusal against the economic and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba since 1962.

The last round of vote at the United Nations on Cuba’s resolution “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba” has just ended. This was the 27th year in a row that Cuba submits this resolution and for the 27th time the resolution is voted overwhelmingly in favor: 189 voted in support, 2 against (United States and Israel), zero abstentions.

Many countries such as Russia, China, Iran, Vietnam, Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Canada, the European Union, CARICOM, as well as different associations of friendship with Cuba, have expressed their disapproval and rejection against the inhumane US blockade against Cuba.

This position of the international community respond not only to the criminal effect upon the Cuban people, but also to the extraterritorial effects of Helms-Burton Act, threatening all of those companies trafficking with expropriated properties which used to belong to US enterprises or Cubans who migrated to the USA, after January 1, 1959.

On March 12, 1996, U.S. President William J. Clinton signed and enforced the so-called Cuban Freedom and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996, or Freedom Act, better known by the names of its main promoters, Senator (Republican) from North Carolina, Jesse Helms, and Representative (Democrat) from Illinois, Dan Burton, but to which the most conservative and far-right sectors of the U.S. and Cuban-American political spectrum are committed.

Since May 1996 and up to date, the State Department has been notifying by means of Warning Letters to investment companies in Cuba in the so-called “confiscated properties”.

On March 4, 2019, the government of President Donald Trump opened, for the first time in 1996, the possibility of lawsuits being filed in U.S. courts against Cuban companies included in a unilateral list drawn up by the State Department for their alleged links to the Armed Forces and the national security sector in Cuba. Although the State Department at the time suspended the total activation of Title III of Helms Burton for “national interest” of the United States, its possible application against companies from third countries was described by the Cuban Foreign Ministry as “blackmailing the world”.

Written by Jorge Lora

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