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Pittsburgh Companies Part of $7 Billion Claim Against Cuba

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Tuesday, 10 November 2015 15:12

In an article published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mauricio Tamargo discusses the ability of the Cuban government to make payment on US certified claims.

Between 1965 and 1972, the US Foreign Claims Settlement Commission ("FCSC") certified claims against Cuba now worth more than $7 billion, including interest. During bilateral talks in Havana last month, State Department officials raised the issue stating that "the resolution of outstanding US claims remains a priority for the US government."

Former chairman of the settlement commission, and attorney at Poblete Tamargo, LLP, Mauricio Tamargo, discussed the difficult challenges that may unfold. "It will be a problem for the Treasury Department, which will be in charge of figuring out who is teh rightful holder of each claim," he states. 

Tamargo explains that American law is clear, Cuba must make restitution before the trade embargo can end, a condition of the Helms-Burton act from 1996. 

MT Quote

"Cuba does not get a free ride. If you wish to do commerce with the United States, you must respect the property rights of its citizens," Tamargo says.

Tamargo goes on to say, "Cuba clearly has the money, even if it didn'd, it could easily finance [$7 billion] because once the trade embargo gets lifted Cuba will make a lot of money."

Cuba continues to assert that they suffered greatly from the embargo estimating damarges as high as $180 billion, a figure that Tamargo explains is a posturing tactic by the Cuban government to minimize and gain some sort of negotiating tool. 

Critics who feel that Cuba is not financially capable of paying the claims in full have proposed alternative options to total payment of the American claims stating that Cuba is not likely to accept the valuations made by the FCSC.

Regardless, it will end up to Congress, not the Obama administration, to make decisions on lifting the embargo.

For more information on Cuba's ability to Pay US Certified Claims, read Tamargo's article "Can Cuba Afford to Pay?".

The original article published by the Post-Gazette can be found here.



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