The lawsuit against U.S. cruise lines who made deals with Cuba’s dictatorship to use docks in Havana stolen from their rightful owners appears to be proceeding to a jury trial.
US District Judge Beth Bloom rejected the defendants’ motion to strike plaintiff Havana Docks Corp.’s demand for a jury trial.
The trial is scheduled for May.
In 2019, Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Group, MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings were sued under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act by Havana Docks Corp., which holds a US-certified claim to piers that were nationalized after the 1959 Cuban revolution.
The cruise giants reject the charge that their calls at the Havana facilities qualify as trafficking in stolen property, arguing mainly that cruise travel to Cuba was lawful at the time and use of the terminal was required by Cuba, while also disputing the validity of Havana Docks Corp.’s claims under Helms-Burton.
It will be up to a jury now to decide if paying the communist Castro dictatorship to use stolen property — docks the Cuban regime stole at gunpoint from their rightful owners — is trafficking in stolen property.