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International Claims

THE ILS GAZETTE: New Phase in US-Cuba Relations Adds New Layers of Complexity for Foreign Companies Doing Business in Cuba

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Monday, 06 May 2019 18:15

The following article by PobleteTamargo's Arthur Freyre was published in The Florida Bar International Law Section's May 3, 2019, edition of the International Law Section's Weekly Gazette.

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Moving Forward

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Wednesday, 30 November 2016 17:46


"Will Castro's death begin Cuba's transition?"

By: Arthur M. Freyre

Castro FuneralThis is the question that many in the media and foreign policy establishments focused on this past weekend. As many are aware, Fidel Castro relinquished most of his power to his younger brother Raul in 2006 when he became ill. Raul has stated that he will not be running for re-election in 2018, passing power and control of Cuba to his son.

The incoming Trump Administration issued a press release on Saturday regarding the death of Cuba’s former leader. The statement gave a preview of what the Cuba policy may look like under the new administration incorporating many elements of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act.

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Can Cuba Afford to Pay?

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International Claims
Tuesday, 27 October 2015 19:02

By Mauricio Tamargo

There are Certain Cuba policy advocates and lobbyists in Washington, DC that are in a hurry to normalize trade relations with Cuba. One of the things that we keep hearing repeatedly from these people is that American certified claimants need to settle for pennies on the dollar because Cuba does not have the money to pay. 

Well, that is just not true and those who keep repeating that misinformation are undercutting our State Department’s negotiating team who are trying to get the best deal they can for the American claimants. Here are a few facts which give us a good indication of Cuba’s ability to pay the $8 billion debt represented by the 5,913 certified claims.

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Congressman Jeff Duncan Urges US Delegation to UN to Uphold US Sovereign Law

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International Claims
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 18:30

By: Cara E. Di Silvio

Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Chairman Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) urged Ambassaador Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, to defend U.S. sovereignty and interests at the United Nations with respect to an upcoming vote on Cuba:

"the U.S. delegation to the United Nations may abdicate its sovereign responsibility to uphold and defend U.S. interests as enshrined in U.S. law by abstaining, instead of voting against, on a resolution demanding the end of U.S.-Cuba embargo as outlined in the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (Libertad/Helms-Burton)."

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A Process to Begin Settling American Certified Claims Against Cuba

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Tuesday, 28 February 2012 16:26

Mauricio J. Tamargo

The current commerce and travel being transacted between Cuba and the United States  should be subjected to a fee to be used to settle the debt Cuba owes our fellow Americans  with certified claims. Settling and paying these claims will achieve a goal of both the pro-Cuba sanctions and the anti-Cuba embargo supporters, while simultaneously removing a significant obstacle to making progress in U.S. - Cuba relations.

This proposed solution calls for imposing at least a 10% fee on the value of all transactions between the U.S. and Cuba, including travel, sales or transfer of goods, services, and commodities, and remittances. Funds raised from this fee will be used to create a settlement fund at the Department of the Treasury.  Americans with certified claims can tap this settlement fund for payments to fully satisfy the debt owed to them, including interest, in accordance with the certified claim issued to them by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, at the Department of Justice.

jebel_ali_port_1_imresoltResolving these claims is neither a pro nor anti economic sanctions proposal. It simply helps fellow Americans, who have been forgotten in this Cuba policy debate, find justice and peace at a time when many of them could use this compensation to find closure and start a new. There are 5,913 certified and pending American claims against the government of Cuba which are currently valued at over $7 billion that have gone unpaid for over 50 years. These claims are based on real and personal property expropriated by the communist government of Cuba without compensation. These claims were all evaluated and certified by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, which I chaired for eight years, under the first and second Cuba Claims Programs.

Claims programs are not designed to remain unpaid for 50 years. Frankly, having the Cuba Claims Program go unpaid for 50 years makes a mockery of the international claims process. Typically these programs are settled after a few years and, while it may take a little longer, half a century sets a new and untenable precedent for future claims programs.

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Taxpayers Need an Iraq Claims Program

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Friday, 12 November 2010 00:00

By Mauricio J. Tamargo

We are all familiar with the old adage; "the squeaky wheel gets the grease".   Nowhere is that old adage more true than when dealing with the federal government helping Americans with claims against Iraq.  A case in point is the news out of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad last year that an agreement had been reached to compensate Americans terrorized by the regime of Saddam Hussein.

In the period leading up to the first Gulf War, and to a lesser extent after that war, many U.S. citizens and companies suffered injuries caused by the Hussein regime.  In 1991, the U.S. federal government conducted an Iraq Claims Census to determine the universe of parties harmed by the Hussein Iraqi government and the scope of the losses incurred by American citizens.  At that time, the value of these claims rose to seven or eight billion dollars.  This figure could be significantly higher in light of the interest that customarily accumulates, so long as a claim remains outstanding, and is applied to international claims under international law in accordance with established international legal standards.

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