Swiss company settles lawsuit with Cuban family in stolen Cuban property claim

It’s hard to miss the irony that LafargeHolcim’s facility in Cuba is named the Karl Marx Cement Plant.

In a first win in Helms-Burton lawsuits, a Swiss company has settled in principle with a Cuban family who sued the international cement giant for trafficking in property stolen from them by the communist Castro dictatorship.

Via The Wall Street Journal:

LafargeHolcim Ltd. , a Swiss cement giant, has agreed in principle to settle a lawsuit brought by a group of 25 U.S. nationals who claimed the company used their Cuban property to conduct business, according to court documents.

The lawsuit, filed in September in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, is one of dozens of cases brought under a long-dormant provision of a law that allows Americans to pursue legal action against companies doing business in Cuba on property confiscated by the regime of Fidel Castro.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit—a group that includes the estates of four persons—claim that the property they owned through a company was confiscated without compensation by the Cuban government in 1960.

The certified claims originally belonged to five Americans, who were all members of the same family and sole owners of Compañía Azucarera Soledad SA, a closely held family-owned company in Cienfuegos, Cuba, whose property has been used by LafargeHolcim.

The original claimants are Helen A. Claflin, William H. Claflin III, Mary C. Rentschler, Anne C. Allen and John W. Weeks, according to the lawsuit. Ms. Allen and Mr. Weeks are deceased. Some of the plaintiffs share the same last names of the original claimants, though the lawsuit doesn’t make clear their relationship.

This is a huge win for the Cuban family and for the rule of law. Hopefully, this will be one of many more wins for those victimized by companies that chose to partner up with the corrupt Castro dictatorship and traffic in stolen Cuban property.