We hear that it’s time to lift the Cuban embargo. However, lifting the embargo means nothing unless you are willing to talk about the $7 billion that the Castro regime expropriated in violation of property rights and the rule of law.
According to Leon Neyhakh, we must address the issue of the property before we allow investors to bail out the Castro regime:
“Today, the nearly 6,000 property claims filed in the wake of the Cuban revolution almost never come up as a significant sticking point in discussions of a prospective Cuban-American thaw.
But they remain active – and more to the point, the federal law that lays out the conditions of a possible reconciliation with Cuba, the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, says they have to be resolved.
According to that statute, said Michael Kelly, a professor of international law at Creighton University in Nebraska, settling the certified property claims “is one of the first dominoes that has to fall in a whole series of dominoes for the embargo to be lifted.”
Another point is that much of this “expropriated property” was Cuban, such as the Cuban-owned bank that my father worked in.
It was “Banco Continental Cubano”, a bank formed by Cuban investors in the early 1940s. My father joined this bank as a management trainee and then rose to a branch manager position before the communist takeover.
Who is going to compensate the Cubans who owned this bank?
There are thousands of Cubans in the U.S. who lost businesses and investments after the communist takeover.
Two of these “investors” were my mother’s late uncles, a couple of Spaniards who landed in Cuba in the 1920s. They worked very hard, owned various businesses and had everything “nationalized” (i.e. stolen) by the communists.
Before you lift the embargo, let’s remember the thousands of Cubans who saw their property stolen by the communists.
The U.S. is about the rule of law, specially “property rights”. Let’s stand for that before we let the Castro regime get away with stealing billions from hard-working people.