imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Corporate Predators Want Compensation for Lost Cuban Assets They Stole

by Stephen Lendman Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014 at 12:48 PM


Corporate Predators Want Compensation for Lost Cuban Assets They Stole

by Stephen Lendman

They never forget. Or forgive. Even for what happened over half a century ago. When Cuba got back what they stole.

When Castro ousted Fulgencio Batista's despotic rule, he nationalized foreign corporate assets. Originally valued at around .8 billion.

At 6% simple interest, now worth around billion. From sugar processing plants, other factories, mines, oil refineries, power plants, hotels, 75% of Cuba's arable land, cattle ranches, other assets.

US companies have 5,913 outstanding claims. Including from ExxonMobil, Coca-Cola, Freeport-McMoRan, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter and Gamble, Goodyear, Firestone, General Motors, Owens-Illinois, Avon Products, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and many others.

Office Depot is the largest claimant. It wasn't around during the revolution. A Cuban Electric subsidiary supplied over 90% of the island's electricity.

Its nationalized operations included a utility plant. Worth over 0 million at the time. In 1969, Boise Cascade became a majority Cuban Electric owner.

In 2003, it bought OfficeMax. Adopting the company's name. Last year merging with Office Depot. OD now claims rights to Cuban Electric.

Obama didn't mention asset claims during his announcement last week. The State Department is responsible for handling them.

It calls settling them an important part of normalization. On Friday, a spokesperson said:

"Reestablishment of diplomatic relations will allow the US to engage more effectively with the Cuban government on a range of important issues, including the claims of Americans."

"Resolution of outstanding US claims remains a priority for the US government, but we are unable to provide a specific time frame or details at this time."

According to Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta Jacobson:

"We do not believe those things would be resolved before diplomatic relations would be restored, but we do believe that they would be part of the conversation."

Attorney Robert Muse specializing in Cuban affairs said major companies won't write off the kind of value involved.

In 1964, Congress directed the Justice Department's Foreign Claims Settlement Commission to determine the validity and value of claims filed.

Certification took six years to complete. Billions of dollars in nationalized assets are involved.

Rights linked to claims remain enshrined in US statutes. America's embargo was imposed largely in retaliation for nationalizations.

According to attorney Matias Travieso-Diaz familiar with US/Cuban relations, lifting the embargo may be illegal under US law. Without settling outstanding claims.

Sanctions give claimants other legal protections. Helm's-Burton legislation states:

"(A)ny person or government that traffics in US property confiscated by the Cuban government is liable for monetary damages in US federal court."

Cuban specialist Julia Sweig believes outstanding claims aren't as big an obstacle to US/Cuban trade as they used to be.

Because they're over half a century old. Earlier negotiations over things went nowhere.

Cuba says America owes it hundreds of billions of dollars. For embargo caused harm.

International Law Professor Michael Kelly believes US companies can be compensated in ways other than cash. In development rights. Tax breaks. Other foreign investment incentives.

At the same time, he calls resolving outstanding claims "one of the first dominos that has to fall in a whole series of dominos for the embargo to be lifted."

Former Foreign Claims Settlement Commission chairman Timothy Feighery said America has "a long history of making sure our citizens are compensated for losses suffered at the hands of foreign governments."

Muse and other experts believe settling claims won't top the list of normalization priorities. At the same time, they call resolving them important. A process no expert expects to be easy.

It's unclear precisely how Obama officials intend doing it. A fact sheet released coincidentally with Obama's announcement didn't say.

For embargo conditions to be fully lifted, outstanding claims must be resolved. So far, the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission only said:

"Although the broad outlines of these changes have been unveiled, it is not yet clear what effect such changes will have on the status of the claims previously adjudicated by the Commission."

Some companies filing claims no longer exist. Some individual claimants died. In recent years, Cuban experts began studying how to resolve claims realistically and fairly.

In 1960, the Eisenhower administration sharply cut Cuban sugar purchases. Latin American Studies Professor Jonathan Hansen said "(w)e kin of went ballistic at the thought that anyone would take our property."

Tempers were hot on both sides. Standoff followed. Cuban sugar purchases ended entirely. A near-total embargo was imposed.

Other countries were more amenable to Castro's terms than America. Perhaps convinced some compensation was better than nothing. Even in Cuban bonds Castro offered.

American companies wanted cash. US/Cuban relations deteriorated. Diplomatic ties were cut.

For years, claims got little attention. According to former Foreign Claims Settlement Commission chairman Mauricio Tamargo:

"The corporations that have these claims are very sensitive to bad press, so they decide to keep a low profile and work quietly behind the scenes where possible."

Cuban expert Professor Jorge Dominguez says Washington "is obligated by law to defend the claims of US citizens and enterprises whose properties were expropriated by the Cuban government."

"(O)ne can imagine a range of possibilities," he added. At the same time, resolving half century old claims won't be simple.

RT International interviewed National Committee to Free the Cuban Five director Gloria La Riva.

Britain wasn't compensated for lost assets after America's revolution, she said.

Legislation affecting things today didn't exist at the time. La Riva believes Cuba intends remaining true to its revolutionary principles. Despite economic changes underway.

"What is needed in terms of relations between the US and Cuba is respect for Cuba's sovereignty, and independence, and the ownership of its wealth which is for the benefit of all the Cuban population," she said.

"What the American owners, the corporations and landholders owned in Cuba was stolen wealth, and that is not going to be returned to them."

How Cuban/American economic relations develop ahead remains to be seen, La Riva said.

"Already Cuba enjoys many relations economically, commercially, financially with many countries and many corporations around the world, other than the US," she explained.

"(M)uch of what Cuba claims is billions and billions of dollars…" Assets America froze. Stole from Cuba.

"So (it) has a great deal to claim against US corporations and the US government."

"The US from the 1800s until the Cuban revolution basically stole the land."

In 1959, Cubans got back what's rightfully theirs. Cuba has outstanding claims against America of .2 trillion, said La Riva.

In damages. Economic "distraction." Economic embargo. Cuba is willing "to engage in mutually respectful negotiations on all issues," she explained.

America wants things its way. It remains to be seen how tough issues are handled. Expect months of negotiations to follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

The Shortwave Report 04/06/18 Listen Globally! A05 4:25PM

Nicaraguas Conflic with native Peoples on the Caribbean Coast Near Bluefields in Decade80 A05 12:14PM

Millions Boycott The Sponsors Of Laura Ingraham A05 11:36AM


More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy