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4 May, 2019 06:05

‘Miscarriage of justice’: Cuba slams lawsuits against state-owned firms

‘Miscarriage of justice’: Cuba slams lawsuits against state-owned firms

Cuba vowed to protect its property and international business ties just as ExxonMobil began suing two Cuban companies for $280 million over assets seized after the revolution.

“Cuba will protect Cubans and foreign entities operating in the country and will render void any claim filed under this law which is a miscarriage of justice,” Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez tweeted after the American oil giant became the first US company to take legal action against Havana.

Cimex Corporation SA, a Cuban state-owned business group, and the Cuba-Petroleum Union (Cupet) are being sued over their use of an oil refinery, gasoline stations, and other properties that once belonged to the American multinational.

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The lawsuits, which seek $280 million in damages, were filed after Washington started enforcing a provision of a 1996 law known as the Helms-Burton Act that allows so-called victims of the “Castro regime” to sue companies that have used their previously held property on the island.

“The Helms-Burton Act is illegal” and in violation of international law, Rodríguez noted, stressing that “it is inapplicable and has no juridical value or effect” for Cuba.

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This week, Canada and the EU agreed with Havana’s assessment, claiming that the Helms-Burton Act has no jurisdiction over them and vowing to take up the issue with the World Trade Organization.

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