Governor Abbott is in Cuba looking for “business opportunities” for Texas companies. However, the governor has already run into “the embargo problem” or a restriction placed on doing business with Cuba in the early 1960s. The embargo was created to punish Cuba for confiscating U.S. property and assets years ago. The embargo does not stop other countries from doing business with the regime.
My friend Jason Poblete, an attorney who represents several American families with claims against Cuba, believes that the regime cannot be allowed to get away with the confiscation.
Cuba has been a lawless state. The regime has been doing business with stolen property. The regime’s elite took over the homes of many U.S. citizens without ever paying rent or recognizing property law. It’s lawlessness!
This is from Will Tucker:
Before the revolution, Poblete said, “There was a positive relationship between the Cuban and American people…[W]hen the break happened in 1959, it was kind of a shock to all these people. And eventually they had to pack up and leave.”
Assets owned by large U.S. corporations were seized, too. One of the companies that had to decamp from the country was Exxon, now Exxon Mobil. The company lost $71 million as Cuba seized its Havana refinery. Office Depot owns a $256 million claim through corporate mergers.
But “the overwhelming majority of claims are not corporate or large claims,” Poblete said. And in fact, the large companies don’t seem to be pressing on the issue of property claims. When it comes to Cuba lobbying, most large U.S. corporations and trade associations have focused on easing the embargo. Exxon has never disclosed lobbying on the issue of Cuba at all. A lobbyist for Officemax, later acquired by Office Depot, did work on “foreign relations with Cuba as it relates to company interests involving electric utility” — referring to the company’s property claim, which involved an electric company — but did so for just one year, 2003.
Americans were targeted by the Castro regime because they were Americans. They became an easy target after the U.S., and many Cubans, started reminding the Castros about the promised elections. Furthermore, there is no evidence that Americans were violating any Cuban law.
Governor Abbott, and others, should remind the Castro regime that you can’t get away with stealing from Americans.
Yes, there are very limited business opportunities in Cuba. However, the Castro regime owes many Americans a settlement, a resolution to their claims.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.