Helms-Burton Act: US punishes its allies to “save” Venezuela

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Helms-Burton Act: US punishes its allies to “save” Venezuela
Fecha de publicación: 
19 April 2019
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After so much empty words, John Bolton —US national security adviser— finally voiced the implementation, once again, of all those old measures reinvigorated by the Trump’s administration seeking to harden the genocide siege on Cuba through the blockade. The speech took place on Wednesday at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami.

According to La Voz de las Americas’ report: “With harsh words, Bolton stated that the Donald Trump’s government has given green-light to the Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which grants Americans the right to sue profit-making companies that were once confiscated by Cuba in the 1960s.” Furthermore, he also announced “other sanctions against the island that include more restrictions to non-family travels to Cuba as well as limit remittances to 1,000 per person every three months from now on.”

As he had written in some tweets prior to his speech at Biltmore Hotel, Bolton justified the “new” US harsh stance on Cuba with the same old argument of human right violations and a new one: the support —in the view of the US government— Cuba is providing Venezuela.

In one of his tweets, he pointed out: “The Administration will continue to break the reprehensible links that have contributed to Venezuela's downfall. The United States will continue to take strong actions against regimes that prop up the failed Maduro dictatorship” and in his speech he ratified: “The Cuban regimen clenched its fist and expanded its tentacles. Right now, Havana continues to prop up (Maduro).”

Desperate after the constant failures of his puppet in Venezuela and involved in the so-called escalation of “options on the table,” which include the art of public threat diplomacy, it seems that the Darth Vader of the US policy and those who whisper to him the story line to follow on Cuba —i.e. Senator Marcos Rubio and other star crew of Miami mafia— do not realize how inconsistent can be to try to sink Venezuela at the cost of risking the interests of some of its allies in such endeavor.

With the resolution of “activating Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, once and for all,” besides Cuba —a nation that would face severe restrictions regarding foreign investments— some old allies like Canada and Spain —both with important investments in Cuba— would be affected as well.

In the words of Pedro Freyre, a Miami lawyer who provides counseling to US companies eager to do business in Cuba within the limitations of the blockade: Canadian and European companies operating in Cuba and the US are entities that would probably pay given the case an American citizen wins in court.

“The problem lies in where you will collect, as we do not have Cuban assets here,” Freyre noted in the English version of El Nuevo Herald. “If claims are allowed against foreign entities such as Canadian or Spanish entities, some of them may have assets in the US. And that is a very different story.”

“How would you allow claims against your ally Canada, a country that is backing you up in your efforts in Venezuela?” Freyre asks himself.

The same question may be asked to Isabel Celaá, spokeswoman of the government of Spain, who confirmed on Wednesday that the authorities will provide every sort of support to any Spanish company affected by possible US claims against foreign companies in Cuba, or the spokesman of the European Commission, Alexander Winterstein, who, before Bolton confirmed his blatant threat, stated that the UE “is ready to safeguard the European interests including European investments and economic activities of individuals and European entities in their relations with Cuba.” Likewise, Winterstein made emphasis on the “(EU) strong opposition to the extraterritorial application of unilateral, restrictive measures in its relation with Cuba, which are contrary to international law.”

Similarly, France, Great Britain, and other nations with major investments in Cuba have voiced their rejection to the act and threatened to sue in the WTO if Washington tries to interfere with the business ties between Cuba and another sovereign nation.

Apparently those countries understand something the “hawks” in the US do not: the fact that Cuba ceased to be a US virtual colony 60 years ago and as Cuba’s president Miguel Diaz-Canel recently stated in the closing speech of the latest Parliamentary session of the National Assembly, “Cuban men and women govern this country.

“Cubans do not kneeled. We do not accept laws on our fate,” ratified the head of state and no better date to make such statement than the day chosen by Bolton to threat Cuba: the 58th anniversary of the victory over the Bay of Pigs’ invasion, the first greatest defeat of the Yankee Empire in America.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

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