When you do business with Cuba’s Castro dictatorship, you’re not only partnering up with a corrupt and murderous dictatorship, you are also engaging in the trafficking of stolen property. When the Castro regime took power in 1959, they began the process of stealing and taking ownership by force of practically the entire island. At gunpoint the Cuban dictatorship took for themselves everything; from homes to businesses, farms to factories, shipping ports to airports.
Moral and ethical implications aside, American companies who partner up with the corrupt Castros take a huge legal risk because it is virtually impossible to do business in Cuba without trafficking in stolen property.
Among the properties stolen by the socialist Castro dictatorship was the international airport in Havana. They outright stole it, taking it by force from its rightful owners with no compensation. If they weren’t aware of the legal risks before, American Airlines is no doubt aware of them now.
American Airlines is the latest company sued for operating in expropriated property in Cuba
A lawsuit against American Airlines and LATAM Airlines group was filed Wednesday, in a Miami federal court, for “trafficking” in Cuban property expropriated after the 1959 communist revolution.
The suit filed on behalf of José Ramon López Regueiro alleges the airline has been using Havana’s José Martí International Airport — which belonged to his father — without compensation.
This is one of several suits that have been filed after the Trump administration implemented Title III of the 1996 Helms Burton Act. The law allows the original owners of Cuban properties confiscated six decades ago to sue companies “trafficking” in them for three times their current value.
López Regueiro said during a news conference that his decision to sue was not monetary but rather for “justice.”
“I have had to wait 60 years, unfortunately,” López Regueiro said. “But at the end, there will be justice.”
He said his family’s properties were taken “violently” and his family was never compensated but rather “defamed.”
López Regueiro, 66, left Cuba for Holland in 1989 and later Spain where he worked in construction. He moved to Miami in 2009 and is now retired.
“What we seek to recover is the value of the airport times three,” said attorney Andrés Rivero, of Rivero Mestre LLP, who is handling the lawsuit. He estimates the current value of the airport at hundreds of millions of dollars, “approaching 1 billion,” he said. That means Regueiro could potentially receive up to $3 billion.
The lawsuit also seeks for the airline to cease operating at José Martí International Airport.
Rivero said that there are more than 50 airlines operating at the airport and they have sent letters notifying the companies of their intent to sue.
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