United States to tighten financial restrictions on Cuba's military: Bolton

U.S. to allow first lawsuits against Cuba over seized property

U.S. to allow first lawsuits against Cuba over seized property

Cuba, as well as China, Russia and Turkey, among other countries continue to support embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

U.S. politicians have applauded the additional measures against Cuba.

The Trump administration is preparing to tighten the six-decade trade embargo on Cuba on Monday by allowing some lawsuits against foreign companies using properties confiscated by the Cuban government after its 1959 revolution, USA officials say. Congress has suspended Title III six months at a time since it was passed.

Muse gives some examples: "If your grandfather had a sugar plantation expropriated in 1960 and someone is buying that sugar, dealing in the sugar. profiting from it, they can be deemed to be a trafficker but also the government agency that oversees that sugar plantation today, say the Ministry of Agriculture, they can be sued", he tells NPR.

Every president since Bill Clinton has suspended a section of the 1996 Helms-Burton act that would allow such lawsuits because they would snarl companies from US -allied countries in years of complicated litigation that could prompt worldwide trade claims against the United States. He accused the top United States security official of lying when he said there were 25,000 Cuban troops in Venezuela.

A complete lifting of the ban could let potentially billions of dollars in legal claims move forward in U.S. courts and likely antagonize Canada and U.S. European partners, whose companies have significant business holdings in Cuba.

Allowing the provision to go into effect even on a limited basis could undermine efforts by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel to foster foreign investment and promote tourism to bolster the Caribbean island's fragile economy.

"We encourage any person doing business in Cuba to reconsider whether they are trafficking in confiscated property and abetting this dictatorship", said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in January.

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"I strongly reject the State Department's announcement to authorize lawsuits under Title III of the Helms-Burton act, against a list of Cuban companies arbitrarily sanctioned by the Trump administration", Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on Twitter.

US officials told The Associated Press that Trump would allow Title III of Helms-Burton to go into effect in a limited fashion that exempts many potential targets from litigation.

Every president since Bill Clinton has suspended a section of the 1996 Helms-Burton act that would allow such lawsuits because they would snarl companies from US-allied countries in years of complicated litigation that could prompt worldwide trade claims against the United States.

U.S. -Cuban relations have nosedived since Trump became president, partially rolling back the detente initiated by Obama and reverting to Cold War-style rhetoric.

The senior State Department official said that during this time the USA will also encourage global partners to hold Cuba accountable for "propping up" the Maduro regime in Venezuela.

The Trump administration on Monday threatened to put new financial restrictions on Cuba's military and intelligence services amid the political turmoil in Venezuela.

Washington and dozens of other countries have recognized Guaido, but Maduro, who says he is being targeted by a USA -directed coup attempt, is backed by Cuba as well as Russian Federation and China and retains control of state institutions, including the military.

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