Judge denies Carnival Cruise Lines motion to dismiss lawsuit over its use of stolen Cuban property

Havana harbor

From our Genuine Social Justice Bureau, via Sea Trade Cruise News

One of Ali-Baba’s forty thousand partners in theft is weeping and gnashing its teeth this morning.

Carnival cruise lines tried to get a lawsuit against it dismissed, but the judge involved refused to grant their request.

The lawsuit involves Carnival’s use of Cuban docks in Havana and Santiago that were stolen from their rightful owners by Castro, Inc. six decades ago.

Good news, for a change, but still very far from any victory. Let’s see how this whole Helms-Burton lawsuit saga against Castro, Inc. continues to unfold.

A federal judge in Miami has denied Carnival Corp.’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit that claims the cruise giant trafficked in stolen property by using cruise facilities in Santiago de Cuba.

Carnival in May became the first US-based company sued by Americans whose properties in Cuba were seized after the revolution, under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.

John Kavulich, president of the New York-based US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, who has provided the court transcript, said the judge’s ruling could lead to other lawsuits and other cruise lines being sued.

Carnival’s attorneys had argued for dismissal on the grounds the company did not ‘traffic’ the property, whose use was incidental to travel legally authorized by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, and because the plaintiff hadn’t adequately established claim to the property.

Judge James Lawrence King held that the lawful travel exemption in Helms-Burton as an affirmative defense to trafficking must be established by Carnival, not negated by the plaintiff. In other words, ‘Helms-Burton frames the travel provision as an exception to otherwise unlawful conduct, not as lawful conduct that must be negated by the plaintiff to stake a claim.’

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