....................................................Contents of this web page:
United States legislation: Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act (Helms-Burton)
Republic of Cuba legislation: Reaffirmation of Cuban Dignity and Sovereignty Act
Related Developments
.....Bolding has been added to certain terms and phrases in the following US and the responsive Cuban legislation.
......................................................................................................................................................................................Last rev: 12/07/03

CUBAN LIBERTY AND DEMOCRATIC SOLIDARITY ACT OF 1996
...22 United States Code [Foreign Relations Law] Section 6021 and following:

SEC. 2. FINDINGS
The Congress makes the following findings:
(1)
The economy of Cuba has experienced a decline of at least 60 percent in the last 5 years as a result of--

.....(A) the end of its subsidization by the former Soviet Union of between 5 billion and 6 billion dollars
...........
annually;
.....(B) 36 years of communist tyranny and economic mismanagement by the Castro government;
.....(C) the extreme decline in trade between Cuba and the countries of the former Soviet bloc; and
.....(D) the stated policy of the Russian Government and the countries of the former Soviet bloc ...........to.conduct economic relations with Cuba on strictly commercial terms.

(2) At the same time, the welfare and health of the Cuban people have substantially deteriorated as a result of this economic decline and the refusal of the Castro regime to permit free and fair democratic elections in Cuba.

(3) The Castro regime has made it abundantly clear that it will not engage in any substantive political reforms that would lead to democracy, a market economy, or an economic recovery.

(4) The repression of the Cuban people, including a ban on free and fair democratic elections, and continuing violations of fundamental human rights, have isolated the Cuban regime as the only completely nondemocratic government in the Western Hemisphere.

(5) As long as free elections are not held in Cuba, the economic condition of the country and the welfare of the Cuban people will not improve in any significant way.

(6) The totalitarian nature of the Castro regime has deprived the Cuban people of any peaceful means to improve their condition and has led thousands of Cuban citizens to risk or lose their lives in dangerous attempts to escape from Cuba to freedom.

(7) Radio Marti and Television Marti have both been effective vehicles for providing the people of Cuba with news and information and have helped to bolster the morale of the people of Cuba living under tyranny.

(8) The consistent policy of the United States towards Cuba since the beginning of the Castro regime, carried out by both Democratic and Republican administrations, has sought to keep faith with the people of Cuba, and has been effective in sanctioning the totalitarian Castro regime.

(9) The United States has shown a deep commitment, and considers it a moral obligation, to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as expressed in the Charter of the United Nations and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

(10) The Congress has historically and consistently manifested its solidarity and the solidarity of the American people with the democratic aspirations of the Cuban people.

(11) The Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 calls upon the President to encourage the governments of countries that conduct trade with Cuba to restrict their trade and credit relations with Cuba in a manner consistent with the purposes of that Act.

(12) Amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 made by the FREEDOM Support Act require that the President, in providing economic assistance to Russia and the emerging Eurasian democracies, take into account the extent to which they are acting to "terminate support for the communist regime in Cuba, including removal of troops, closing military facilities, and ceasing trade subsidies and economic, nuclear, and other assistance".

(13) The Cuban Government engages in the illegal international narcotics trade and harbors fugitives from justice in the United States.

(14) The Castro government threatens international peace and security by engaging in acts of armed subversion and terrorism such as the training and supplying of groups dedicated to international violence.

(15) The Castro government has utilized from its inception and continues to utilize torture in various forms (including by psychiatry), as well as execution, exile, confiscation, political imprisonment, and other forms of terror and repression, as means of retaining power.

(16) Fidel Castro has defined democratic pluralism as "pluralistic garbage" and continues to make clear that he has no intention of tolerating the democratization of Cuban society.

(17) The Castro government holds innocent Cubans hostage in Cuba by no fault of the hostages themselves solely because relatives have escaped the country.

(18) Although a signatory state to the 1928 Inter-American Convention on Asylum and the [1966] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (which protects the right to leave one's own country), Cuba nevertheless surrounds embassies in its capital by armed forces to thwart the right of its citizens to seek asylum and systematically denies that right to the Cuban people, punishing them by imprisonment for seeking to leave the country and killing them for attempting to do so (as demonstrated in the case of the confirmed murder of over 40 men, women, and children who were seeking to leave Cuba on July 13, 1994).

(19) The Castro government continues to utilize blackmail, such as the immigration crisis with which it threatened the United States in the summer of 1994, and other unacceptable and illegal forms of conduct to influence the actions of sovereign states in the Western Hemisphere in violation of the Charter of the Organization of American States and other international agreements and international law.

(20) The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has repeatedly reported on the unacceptable human rights situation in Cuba and has taken the extraordinary step of appointing a Special Rapporteur.

(21) The Cuban Government has consistently refused access to the Special Rapporteur and formally expressed its decision not to "implement so much as one comma" of the United Nations Resolutions appointing the Rapporteur.

(22) The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 47-139 on December 18, 1992, Resolution 48-142 on December 20, 1993, and Resolution 49-200 on December 23, 1994, referencing the Special Rapporteur's reports to the United Nations and condemning violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba.

(23) Article 39 of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter provides that the United Nations Security Council "shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken ..., to maintain or restore international peace and security.".

(24) The United Nations has determined that massive and systematic violations of human rights may constitute a "threat to peace" under Article 39 and has imposed sanctions due to such violations of human rights in the cases of Rhodesia, South Africa, Iraq, and the former Yugoslavia.

(25) In the case of Haiti, a neighbor of Cuba not as close to the United States as Cuba, the United States led an effort to obtain and did obtain a United Nations Security Council embargo and blockade against that country due to the existence of a military dictatorship in power less than 3 years.

(26) United Nations Security Council Resolution 940 of July 31, 1994, subsequently authorized the use of "all necessary means" to restore the "democratically elected government of Haiti", and the democratically elected government of Haiti was restored to power on October 15, 1994.

(27) The Cuban people deserve to be assisted in a decisive manner to end the tyranny that has oppressed them for 36 years, and the continued failure to do so constitutes ethically improper conduct by the international community.

(28) For the past 36 years, the Cuban Government has posed and continues to pose a national security threat to the United States.
............................................................................***
SEC. 3. PURPOSES
The purposes of this Act are--

(1)
to assist the Cuban people in regaining their freedom and prosperity, as well as in joining the community of democratic countries that are flourishing in the Western Hemisphere;

(2) to strengthen international sanctions against the Castro government;

(3) to provide for the continued national security of the United States in the face of continuing threats from the Castro government of terrorism, theft of property from United States nationals by the Castro government, and the political manipulation by the Castro government of the desire of Cubans to escape that results in mass migration to the United States;

(4) to encourage the holding of free and fair democratic elections in Cuba, conducted under the supervision of internationally recognized observers;

(5) to provide a policy framework for United States support to the Cuban people in response to the formation of a transition government or a democratically elected government in Cuba; and

(6) to protect United States nationals against confiscatory takings and the wrongful trafficking in property confiscated by the Castro regime.
.........................................................................***
SEC. 101. STATEMENT OF POLICY
It is the sense of the Congress that--
(1)
the acts of the Castro government, including its massive, systematic, and extraordinary violations of human rights, are a threat to international peace;

(2) the President should advocate, and should instruct the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations to propose and seek within the Security Council, a mandatory international embargo against the totalitarian Cuban Government pursuant to chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, employing efforts similar to consultations conducted by United States representatives with respect to Haiti;

(3) any resumption of efforts by any independent state of the former Soviet Union to make operational any nuclear facilities in Cuba, and any continuation of intelligence activities by such a state from Cuba that are targeted at the United States and its citizens will have a detrimental impact on United States assistance to such state; and

(4) in view of the threat to the national security posed by the operation of any nuclear facility, and the Castro government's continuing blackmail to unleash another wave of Cuban refugees fleeing from Castro's oppression, most of whom find their way to United States shores, further depleting limited humanitarian and other resources of the United States, the President should do all in his power to make it clear to the Cuban Government that--

.....(A) the completion and operation of any nuclear power facility, or
.....(B) any further political manipulation of the desire of Cubans to escape that results in mass
migration to the United States, will be considered an act of aggression which will be met with an appropriate response in order to maintain the security of the national borders of the United States and the health and safety of the American people.

.........................................................................***
SEC. 207. SETTLEMENT OF OUTSTANDING UNITED STATES CLAIMS TO CONFISCATED PROPERTY IN CUBA
(a) REPORT TO CONGRESS
.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall provide a report to the appropriate congressional committees containing an assessment of the property dispute question in Cuba, including--

.....(1) an estimate of the number and amount of claims to property confiscated by the Cuban Government that are held by United States nationals in addition to those claims certified under.section 507 of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949;
.....(2) an assessment of the significance of promptly resolving confiscated property claims to the.revitalization of the Cuban economy;
.....(3) a review and evaluation of technical and other assistance that the United States could provide to help either a transition government in Cuba or a democratically elected government in Cuba.establish mechanisms to resolve property questions;
.....(4) an assessment of the role and types of support the United States could provide to help resolve claims to property confiscated by the Cuban Government that are held by United States nationals who did not receive or qualify for certification under section 507 of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949; and
.....(5) an assessment of any areas requiring legislative review or action regarding the resolution of.property claims in Cuba prior to a change of government in Cuba.

.......................................................................***
(d) SENSE OF CONGRESS.--It is the sense of the Congress that the satisfactory resolution of property claims by a Cuban Government recognized by the United States remains an essential condition for the full resumption of economic and diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.

TITLE III--PROTECTION OF PROPERTY RIGHTS OF UNITED STATES NATIONALS (22 USCA Sec. 6081)
SEC. 301. FINDINGS.
The Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Individuals enjoy a fundamental right to own and enjoy property which is enshrined in the United States Constitution.
(2) The wrongful confiscation or taking of property belonging to United States nationals by the Cuban Government, and the subsequent exploitation of this property at the expense of the rightful owner, undermines the comity of nations, the free flow of commerce, and economic development.
(3) Since Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba in 1959--

(A) he has trampled on the fundamental rights of the Cuban people; and
(B) through his personal despotism, he has confiscated the property of--

...............(i) millions of his own citizens;
..............(ii) thousands of United States nationals; and
..............(iii) thousands more Cubans who claimed asylum in the United States as refugees because ...................of.persecution and later became naturalized citizens of the United States.

(4) It is in the interest of the Cuban people that the Cuban Government respect equally the property rights of Cuban nationals and nationals of other countries.

(5) The Cuban Government is offering foreign investors the opportunity to purchase an equity interest in, manage, or enter into joint ventures using property and assets some of which were confiscated from United States nationals.

(6) This "trafficking" in confiscated property provides badly needed financial benefit, including hard currency, oil, and productive investment and expertise, to the current Cuban Government and thus undermines the foreign policy of the United States--

.....(A) to bring democratic institutions to Cuba through the pressure of a general economic embargo at a time when the Castro regime has proven to be vulnerable to international economic pressure; and
.....(B) to protect the claims of United States nationals who had property wrongfully confiscated by the.Cuban Government.

(7) The United States Department of State has notified other governments that the transfer to third parties of properties confiscated by the Cuban Government "would complicate any attempt to return them to their original owners".

(8) The international judicial system, as currently structured, lacks fully effective remedies for the wrongful confiscation of property and for unjust enrichment from the use of wrongfully confiscated property by governments and private entities at the expense of the rightful owners of the property.

(9) International law recognizes that a nation has the ability to provide for rules of law with respect to conduct outside its territory that has or is intended to have substantial effect within its territory.

(10) The United States Government has an obligation to its citizens to provide protection against wrongful confiscations by foreign nations and their citizens, including the provision of private remedies.

(11) To defer trafficking in wrongfully confiscated property, United States nationals who were the victims of these confiscations should be endowed with a judicial remedy in the courts of the United States that would deny traffickers any profits from economically exploiting Castro's wrongful seizures.
.......................................................................***
SEC. 302. LIABILITY FOR TRAFFICKING IN CONFISCATED PROPERTY CLAIMED BY UNITED STATES NATIONALS (22 USCA Sec. 6082)
.....(a) CIVIL REMEDY.--
(1) LIABILITY FOR TRAFFICKING.--

(A) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person that, after the end of the 3-month period beginning on the effective date of this title, traffics in property which was confiscated by the Cuban Government on or after January 1, 1959, shall be liable to any United States national who owns the claim to such property for money damages in an amount equal to the sum of--

(i) the amount which is the greater of--

(I) the amount, if any, certified to the claimant by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, plus interest;
(II) the amount determined under section 303(a)(2), plus interest; or
(III) the fair market value of that property, calculated as being either the current value of the property, or the value of the property when confiscated plus interest, whichever is greater; and

...(ii) court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.

(B) Interest under subparagraph (A)(i) shall be at the rate set forth in section 1961 of title 28, United States Code, computed by the court from the date of confiscation of the property involved to the date on which the action is brought under this subsection.

(2) PRESUMPTION IN FAVOR OF THE CERTIFIED CLAIMS.--There shall be a presumption that the amount for which a person is liable under clause (i) of paragraph (1)(A) is the amount that is certified as described in subclause (I) of that clause. The presumption shall be rebuttable by clear and convincing evidence that the amount described in subclause (II) or (III) of that clause is the appropriate amount of liability under that clause.

(3) INCREASED LIABILITY.--
.....(A) Any person that traffics in confiscated property for which liability is incurred under paragraph (1) shall, if a United States national owns a claim with respect to that property which was certified by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, be liable for damages computed in accordance with subparagraph (C).

.....(B) If the claimant in an action under this subsection (other than a United States national to whom subparagraph (A) applies) provides, after the end of the 3-month period described in paragraph (1) notice to--

(i) a person against whom the action is to be initiated, or
(ii) a person who is to be joined as a defendant in the action, at least 30 days before initiating the ....action or joining such person as a defendant, as the case may be, and that person, after the end of .the 30-day period beginning on the date the notice is provided, traffics in the confiscated property.that is the subject of the action, then that person shall be liable to that claimant for damages computed in accordance with subparagraph (C).

.....(C) Damages for which a person is liable under subparagraph (A) or subparagraph (B) are money damages in an amount equal to the sum of--

(i) the amount determined under paragraph (1)(A)(ii), and
(ii) 3 times the amount determined applicable under paragraph (1)(A)(i).

.....(D) Notice to a person under subparagraph (B)--

(i) shall be in writing;
(ii) shall be posted by certified mail or personally delivered to the person; and
(iii) shall contain--

(I) a statement of intention to commence the action under this section or to join the person ....as a defendant (as the case may be), together with the reasons therefor;
(II) a demand that the unlawful trafficking in the claimant's property cease immediately; .....and
(III) a copy of the summary statement published under paragraph (8).

(4) APPLICABILITY.--
.....(A) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, actions may be brought under paragraph (1) with respect to property confiscated before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

.....(B) In the case of property confiscated before the date of the enactment of this Act, a United States national may not bring an action under this section on a claim to the confiscated property unless such national acquires ownership of the claim before such date of enactment.

.....(C) In the case of property confiscated on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, a United States national who, after the property is confiscated, acquires ownership of a claim to the property by assignment for value, may not bring an action on the claim under this section.

(5) TREATMENT OF CERTAIN ACTIONS.--
.....(A) In the case of a United States national who was eligible to file a claim with the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 but did not so file the claim, that United States national may not bring an action on that claim under this section.

.....(B) In the case of any action brought under this section by a United States national whose underlying claim in the action was timely filed with the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 but was denied by the Commission, the court shall accept the findings of the Commission on the claim as conclusive in the action under this section.

.....(C) A United States national, other than a United States national bringing an action under this section on a claim certified under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, may not bring an action on a claim under this section before the end of the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.

.....(D) An interest in property for which a United States national has a claim certified under title V of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 may not be the subject of a claim in an action under this section by any other person. Any person bringing an action under this section whose claim has not been so certified shall have the burden of establishing for the court that the interest in property that is the subject of the claim is not the subject of a claim so certified.

(6) INAPPLICABILITY OF ACT OF STATE DOCTRINE.--
No court of the United States shall decline, based upon the act of state doctrine, to make a determination on the merits in an action brought under paragraph (1).

(7) LICENSES NOT REQUIRED.--
.....(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an action under this section may be brought and may be settled, and a judgment rendered in such action may be enforced, without obtaining any license or other permission from any agency of the United States, except that this paragraph shall not apply to the execution of a judgment against, or the settlement of actions involving, property blocked under the authorities of section 5(b) of the Trading with the Enemy Act that were being exercised on July 1, 1977, as a result of a national emergency declared by the President before such date, and are being exercised on the date of the enactment of this Act.

.....(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and for purposes of this title only, any claim against the Cuban Government shall not be deemed to be an interest in property the transfer of which to a United States national required before the enactment of this Act, or requires after the enactment of this Act, a license issued by, or the permission of, any agency of the United States.
.......................................................................***
.....(c) PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS.--
..........(1) IN GENERAL.--Except as provided in this title, the provisions of title 28, United States Code, and the rules of the courts of the United States apply to actions under this section to the same extent as such provisions and rules apply to any other action brought under section 1331 of title 28, United States Code.
..........(2) SERVICE OF PROCESS.--In an action under this section, service of process on an agency or instrumentality of a foreign state in the conduct of a commercial activity, or against individuals acting under color of law, shall be made in accordance with section 1608 of title 28, United States Code.
.....(d) ENFORCEABILITY OF JUDGMENTS AGAINST CUBAN GOVERNMENT.--In an action brought under this section, any judgment against an agency or instrumentality of the Cuban Government shall not be enforceable against an agency or instrumentality of either a transition government in Cuba or a democratically elected government in Cuba.
.....(e) CERTAIN PROPERTY IMMUNE FROM EXECUTION.--Section 1611 of title 28, United States Code [Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act], is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

"(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1610 of this chapter, the property of a foreign state shall be immune from attachment and from execution in an action brought under section 302 of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 to the extent that the property is a facility or installation used by an accredited diplomatic mission for official purposes." [i.e., foreign embassy in Havana located on such confiscated property of a US citizen or corporation].

.............................................................................***



.REAFFIRMATION OF CUBAN DIGNITY AND SOVEREIGNTY ACT OF 1996
..............UN Doc. A/52/68, Feb. 3, 1997 (Annex), reprinted in 36 Int'l Legal Mat'ls 472 (1997)
.................Adopted on 24 Dec. 1996, by the National Assembly of People's Power of Cuba
[Author's Note: The following description of the various responses to the Helms-Burton legislation appears in the introduction to this Cuban legislative response to "Helms-Burton."]
.....On November 12, 1996, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 51/17, on the Necessity of Ending the U.S. Embargo against Cuba, by a vote of 137 in favor to 3 against (Israel, United States, Uzbekistan), with 25 abstentions. The Resolution is very similar to Resolution 50/10, adopted November 2, 1995, which appears at 35 I.L.M. 483 (1996).
.....The U.S. Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 (Helms-Burton Act), March 12, 1996, appears at 35 I.L.M. 357 (1996).
.....The OAS Inter-American Juridical Committee Opinion Examining the U.S. Helms-Burton Act, with an Introductory Note by Seymour J. Rubin, appears at 35 I.L.M. 1322 (1996); the Canadian Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act Incorporating the Amendments Countering the U.S. Helms-Burton Act, with an Introductory Note by Douglas H. Forsythe, appears at 36 I.L.M. 111 (1997); the European Union Council Regulation (EC) No. 2271/96, blocking the Helms-Burton Act, appears at 36 I.L.M. 125 (1997); and the Mexican Act to Protect Trade and Investment from Foreign Norms that Contravene International Law, with an Introductory Note by Jorge A. Vargas, appears at 36 I.L.M. 133 (1997).


I, Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, President of the National Assembly of People's Power of the Republic of Cuba, Let it be known: That the National Assembly of People's Power, at its session of 24 December 1996, centennial year of the death in combat of Antonio Maceo, corresponding to the seventh regular session of the fourth legislature, has approved the following:

.....Whereas: In the United States of America, the Helms-Burton Act, whose objective is the colonial reabsorption of the Republic of Cuba, has been put into effect,
.....Whereas: Cuba has long suffered from the imperialist policies of the United States of America, designed to take control of Cuba by various means, starting with its attempts to buy the island from Spain, through its application of the idea of "manifest destiny" and the concept that Cuba is a "ripe apple" which will fall into United States hands, and the resulting Monroe Doctrine, in an attempt to systematically impede our struggles for national liberation, to its 1898 intervention which thwarted the independence for which the Cubans had been fighting with machetes, courage, intelligence and audacity, thus converting Cuba into its colony,
.....Whereas: Through the Platt Amendment and its continued intervention and meddling in the internal affairs of the country, the United States of America usurped part of the national territory by installing the Guantanamo naval base, imposed corrupt and despotic regimes, including the ignominious and bloody tyrannies of Machado and Batista, and since 1959 has systematically attacked Cuba with the declared objective of putting an end to its independence, eliminating Cuban nationality and forcing the population into servitude,
.....Whereas: The Cuban people, faithful bearers of the independence legacy of the Liberation Army fighters, and of the workers, peasants, students and intellectuals who have fought and will continue to fight the pretensions of their century-old enemy, are prepared to undertake the greatest efforts and sacrifices to maintain the sovereignty, independence and freedom that they won forever on 1 January 1959,
.....Whereas: The process of nationalizing the riches and natural resources of the nation, carried out by the revolutionary Government in the name of the Cuban people, was put into effect in accordance with the Constitution, existing laws and international law, without discrimination, with the objective of public benefit, making available adequate compensation, as agreed through bilateral negotiations with all the Governments involved, with the exception of the United States of America, which refused to negotiate because of its policy of blockade and aggression, gravely damaging its own citizens by its actions,
Whereas: The Cuban people will never permit their country's destiny to be determined by laws dictated from any foreign power,
.....Whereas: The Helms-Burton Act has been almost unanimously rejected by the international community, owing to its violation of the principles of international law as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, and to its extra territorial application, which contradicts international norms, in an attempt arbitrarily and illegally to dictate rules to be followed by other States,
.....Whereas: A considerable number of foreign business people have demonstrated their confidence in Cuba by investing in the country or negotiating possible investments, using all possible legal formulas to help to protect their interests,
.....Whereas: The National Assembly of People's Power, as the representative of all the people, repudiates the Helms-Burton Act and declares its uncompromising decision to adopt all available legal measures as a response to this anti-Cuba legislation, and to demand the compensation to which the State and people of Cuba have a right,
.....Therefore: By the powers granted under article 75 (b) of the Constitution of the Republic, the National Assembly of People's Power has adopted the following:

..................................................................ACT NO. 80
..................REAFFIRMATION OF CUBAN DIGNITY AND SOVEREIGNTY ACT

.....Article 1. The Helms-Burton Act is declared illegal, inapplicable and without value or legal effect.
Consequently, all claims by persons or corporations, regardless of citizenship or nationality, on the basis of the Helms-Burton Act shall be considered null and void.

.....Article 2. The willingness of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, as expressed in the nationalization laws implemented more than 35 years ago, to pay adequate and just compensation for the expropriated property of persons and corporations that had United States citizenship or nationality at that time, is reaffirmed.

.....Article 3. The compensation referred to in the preceding article for United States properties nationalized by virtue of this legitimate process, as validated by Cuban laws and international law, may form part of a negotiating process between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Cuba on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
.....The compensation claims for the nationalization of said properties should be examined together with the compensation to which the Cuban State and people have a right, as a result of the damages caused by the blockade and all types of aggression, for which the Government of the United States of America is responsible.

.....Article 4. Any person or corporation of the United States of America that uses the procedures and mechanisms of the Helms-Burton Act, seeks its protection or tries to employ it against others shall be excluded from the possible future negotiations referred to in articles 2 and 3.

.....Article 5. The Government of the Republic of Cuba is in charge of adopting the provisions, measures and additional arrangements that will be necessary for the complete protection of current and potential foreign investments in Cuba, and the defence of legitimate interests of the same in the face of actions that could derive from the Helms-Burton Act.

.....Article 6. The Government of the Republic of Cuba is charged with applying or authorizing the formulas that are required for the protection of foreign investors against the application of the Helms-Burton Act, including the transfer of foreign investors' interests to fiduciary companies, financial entities or investment funds.

.....Article 7. The competent State bodies, as authorized by the Government of the Republic of Cuba, in accordance with the provisions of existing legal regulations, shall provide foreign investors who request them with all available information and documentation necessary for the defence of their legitimate interests against the provisions of the Helms-Burton Act.
.....In addition, they shall supply the above-mentioned information and documentation to foreign investors who request them in order to pursue legal action in the courts of their respective countries, under legal provisions that protect their interests or that have been established to prevent or limit the application of the Helms-Burton Act.

.....Article 8. Any form of collaboration, direct or indirect, which favours the application of the Helms-Burton Act is declared unlawful. Collaboration shall be defined as, among other acts:

- Seeking information for or supplying information to a representative of the Government of the
...United States of America or any other individual for the purpose of using it directly or indirectly in .the possible application of the Act or aiding another person in seeking or supplying such information; - Requesting, receiving, accepting or facilitating the distribution of or benefitting in any way from .financial, material or other forms of resources issued by the Government of the United States of .America or channeled by it through its representatives or by any other means, for purposes which .would benefit the application of the Helms-Burton Act;
- Divulging, disseminating or aiding in the distribution of information, publications, documents or propagandistic material from the Government of the United States of America, its agencies or dependencies or any other source, for the purpose of facilitating the application of the Helms-Burton Act;
- Collaborating in any way with radio or television stations or other media or propaganda sources for ..the purpose of facilitating the application of the Helms-Burton Act.

.....Article 9. The Government of the Republic of Cuba shall present the National Assembly of People's Power or the Council of State, depending on the jurisdiction involved, with the draft legislation necessary for imposing sanctions on all actions which in one way or another involve collaboration with the objectives of the Helms-Burton Act.

.....Article 10. It is hereby ratified that monetary remittances sent by persons of Cuban origin resident abroad to family members residing in Cuba shall not be subject to taxes of any kind. The Government of the Republic of Cuba shall adopt all measures deemed necessary to facilitate such remittances.
.....Persons of Cuban origin resident abroad shall be permitted to hold bank accounts in freely convertible currency or in Cuban pesos in Cuban banks, and the interest accruing on these accounts shall not be subject to taxes of any kind.
.....In addition, it shall be permitted for insurance policies to be taken out naming permanent residents of Cuba as beneficiaries. The beneficiaries shall be allowed to freely collect the corresponding payments without paying taxes of any kind.

.....Article 11. The Government of the Republic of Cuba shall maintain current data on the compensation owed by the Government of the United States of America as a consequence of the effects of the economic, trade and financial blockade and its aggression against the country and shall add to these claims the damages and losses caused by thieves, embezzlers, corrupt politicians and mafiosos, as well as the torturers and murderers who were part of the Batista dictatorship, for whose actions the Government of the United States of America has taken responsibility by approving the Helms-Burton Act.

.....Article 12. Individuals who themselves or whose family members have been the victims of personal injury or material damage as a result of the actions sponsored or supported by the Government of the United States of America referred to in the following paragraph shall be able to file claims for the corresponding compensation before the Claims Commissions that shall be created and organized by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Cuba, which shall be authorized to decide upon the validity of these claims and upon the amount owing and the responsibility of the Government of the United States of America.
.....The actions referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include death, injury or economic losses caused by the torturers and murderers of the Batista dictatorship, as well as by saboteurs and other criminals in the service of United States imperialism against the Cuban nation since 1 January 1959.
.....The Ministry of Justice shall be authorized to regulate the procedures involved in filing the claims referred to in this article and to issue any further resolutions for this purpose.

.....Article 13. The National Assembly of People's Power and the Government of the Republic of Cuba shall cooperate and work in coordination with other parliaments, Governments and international agencies, with the aim of promoting any actions deemed necessary to block the application of the Helms-Burton Act.

.....Article 14. The people of Cuba as a whole are called upon to continue the profound and systematic examination of the annexationist and colonialist plans of the Government of the United States of America included in the Helms-Burton Act as a means of ensuring that in every territory, community, workplace, educational institution and military unit there is full knowledge of the specific consequences that the execution of these plans would entail for each and every citizen, and to guarantee everyone's active and conscientious participation in the measures needed to defeat them.

Final provisions
.....First: The Government of the Republic of Cuba and the appropriate State agencies shall be authorized to issue any resolutions deemed necessary for the fulfilment of the provisions of this Act.

.....Second: Any laws or regulations contrary to this Act shall be rendered null and void when this Act enters into effect, upon its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic.

ISSUED at the Assembly Hall of the National Assembly of People's Power, International Conference Centre, in the city of Havana on 24 December 1996.


Notes & Questions
1.
Cuban land subject to Helms-Burton legsilation: A Miami group has created a registry to compile claims against properties in Cuba, a database for foreign investors who want to do business on the island. The registry comes as the European Union and the United States have reached an unapproved agreement over the much-disputed Title IV of the Helms-Burton Act, which denies U.S. visas to any foreign entity that bought land confiscated by the Cuban government after the 1959 revolution. For story by Miami Daily Business Review, click here.

2. In January, 2000, US President Clinton delayed implementation of Helms-Burton--amidst the Elian Gonzalez incident involving the six-year old Cuban refugee whos mother died when they attempyted to flee Cuba to reach US shores. Proesident Clinton has delayed implemntation of this legislation, pursuant to its terms, in each of every six-month periods since it was passed.

3. In July, 2001, US President Bush extended the provision which blocks lawsuits under this statute. He did so, two days before his second trip to Europe, to avoid further confrontation with European leaders--whose companies would be subject to suit for "trafficking" under this statute if they do business with Cuba within the meaning of this effectively dormant 1996 legislation. He thus extended the Clinton-era bar to the use of this statute, under the provision whereby the President reviews, every six months, whether to stay or implement the law for use in US courts.
.....On the 100th anniversary of Cuba's independence, President Bush reaffirmed the existing US policy toward Cuba, at an anti-Castro rally in Miami attended by hundreds of Cuban-Americans who will be voting in the upcoming mid-term elections in the state where Bush's brother is the governor. President thus said: "Nearly a half century ago, Cuba's independence and the hopes for democracy were hijacked by a brutal dictator who cares everything for his own power and nada for the Cuban people. In an era where markets have brought prosperity and empowerment, this leader clings to a bankrupt ideology that has brought Cuba's workers and farmers and families nothing—nothing—but isolation and misery. I want you to know that I know what trade means with a tyrant. It means that we will underwrite tyranny, and we cannot let that happen. For 43 years, every election in Cuba has been a fraud and a sham. Mr. Castro, once, just once, show that you're unafraid of a real election." E. Bumiller, Embargo Remains Until Cuba Alters Policy, Bush Says, NYT on the Web (May 21, 2002).
.....A coalition of some forty-six members of the US Congress--the Bipartisan Cuba Working Group-- seek reforms that would ease the current limitations on dealing with Cuba. A leading member of this group was in Havana to celebraet the first anniversary of the first US food shipments to Cuba in four decades. He thus posed the following question: "If Americans can travel to Iraq and Iran, two-thirs of the so-called Axis of Evil, why can't they travel to Cuba?" News story: Associated Press, U.S. Lawmaker: Cuba Travel Ban May End, NYT on the Web (Dec. 14, 2002).
.....IIn Sept./Oct. 2003, in a firm rebuke to President Bush over the Administration's Cuba policy, the House and Senate overwhelmingly voted to ease travel restrictions on Americans travelling to Cuba. The 59-to-38 Senate vote came two weeks after President Bush announced that he would tighten the travel ban on Cuba--in an attempt to halt illegal tourism there and to bring more pressure on the government of Fidel Castro. The House of Representatives has repeatedly passed legislation to ease the travel ban, including a vote of 227 to 188 in September, approving virtually identical language. For story by Christopher Marquis, Senate Approves Easing of Curbs on Cuba Travel, NYT on the Web (Oct. 24, 2003), click here.

4. In October 2002, Ana Montes, a senior Defense Intelligence Agency analyst for sixteen years, was convicted in the U.S. for spying for Cuba. She told the sentencing judge that:

.....I felt morally obligated to help the island defend itself from our efforts to impose our values and
.....our political system on it.
..........We have displayed intolerance and contempt toward Cuba for most of the last four decades.
.....We have never respected Cuba's right to make its own journey toward its own ideals of equality
.....and justice. ... [My actions] may have been morally wrong, [but] I did what I thought right to
.....counter a grave injustice.

T. Bridis, Woman Who Spied for Cuba Receives 25 Yeras in Prison, Associated Press, Oct. 17, 2002.

5. In October 2003, President Bush sought more rigorous enforcement of the sanction regime against Cuba--in the form of more scrutiny of US travellers bound for Cuba. Previously, five percent were randomly searched. Now one-hundred percent are searched. More have been denied permission to go there, more have had items seized upon their return, and the US Treasury Department will look for ways of ensuring that money is not illegally sent to Cuba. A May 2004 presidential commission is then expected to issue a report regarding ways to speed up Cuba's political and economic transition to democracy (the form of government in all other nation in the western hemiphere).

 Go To Chapter 13, §13.1, text p.629, after Cuban Liberty and
...............Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 reference to this web page.
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