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St. Petersburg Family Seeks Payback for Seized Land

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016 17:57

The heirs to one of Cuba’s largest textile companies, expropriated by the Castro regime during the Communist takeover, is seeking payback for what was stolen from their family. Textilera Ariguanabo was operated by Burke Osborne Hedges who was forced to flee Cuba in 1959, leaving behind the family textile business in addition to more than 20 other properties. According to The Tamba Bay Times, the properties are valued at $50 million. 

HedgesBefore the expropriation of Textilera Ariguanabo, the company was known for the free health care and high wages provided by the Hedges family. Articles in Fortune and Reader’s Digest in the 1940’s praised the Cuban business as one of the largest on the island before Batista became president, getting noticed for how well it treated its employees. 

Though the family had not filed a claim before the deadline through the US Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (“FCSC”), according to attorney Jason Poblete, that should not matter. 

Through 1972, the FCSC accepted claims for property nationalized by the Cuban government, and then from 2005-2006 the commission reconvened to consider additional properties that had been nationalized after 1967. According to Poblete, that set precedent that the claims program can be reopened once again.

"It will signal to foreign investors and governments around that world, that the U.S. will stand by its taxpayers, as long as it takes, anywhere foreign governments take property without compensation," he said in the Tampa Bay Times article. 

 

The full article in the Tampa Bay Times can be found here.

 

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