Rubio, Nelson Urge Administration to Seek Compensation for American Property Stolen by Cuban Government

Washington, D.C. –- (RealEstateRama) — As the Trump Administration reviews its policy towards Cuba, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) urged U.S. State and Treasury Department Secretaries Rex Tillerson and Steven Mnuchin to prioritize seeking compensation for Americans whose property was stolen by the Cuban government.

“The U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC) has certified more than 5,900 claims against the Cuban Government for stolen property,” states the senators’ letter. “These claims—now valued at approximately $8 billion—remain unresolved. While the Cuban Government has manufactured ridiculous counter-claims to avoid responsibility, we urge you to seek fair compensation on behalf of these Americans as soon as possible. To that end, we request that you work with Congress to develop a plan and timeline for resolution of these claims, as well as consider instructing the FCSC to conduct a third Cuban Claims Program to allow for potential new claimants.”

The full text of the senators’ letter is below:

June 1, 2017

The Honorable Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

The Honorable Steven T. Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220

Dear Secretaries Tillerson and Mnuchin:

For the last 57 years, the Cuban Government and government-controlled companies have profited from property that rightfully belongs to Americans. As the Administration reviews U.S. policy toward Cuba, we urge you to prioritize seeking compensation for Americans whose property was stolen by the Cuban Government.

The U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC) has certified more than 5,900 claims against the Cuban Government for stolen property. These claims—now valued at approximately $8 billion—remain unresolved. While the Cuban Government has manufactured ridiculous counter-claims to avoid responsibility, we urge you to seek fair compensation on behalf of these Americans as soon as possible. To that end, we request that you work with Congress to develop a plan and timeline for resolution of these claims, as well as consider instructing the FCSC to conduct a third Cuban Claims Program to allow for potential new claimants.

Additionally, we write to express our concern with a January 2016 decision to allow Cubaexport—a company owned by the Cuban Government—to renew its illegitimate claim on the trademark for Havana Club rum. Cubaexport registered the trademark for Havana Club in the United States only after the Cuban Government stole the trademark from the original owners. The decision was a troubling development, given longstanding U.S. policy and support for the rightful owners of stolen property, and we urge you to reconsider.

We look forward to your response. Thank you for your prompt attention to these important matters.

Sincerely,

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