What does this Cuba deal do to compensate U.S. investors?
My late uncle used to work for a U.S. citizen who had a small manufacturing company in central Cuba. It employed about 20 Cubans and was typical of many Americans who lived and had companies on the island.
In other words, not every dollar confiscated by the communists was that of large hotel holdings or infrastructure companies. On the contrary, there were many American small and medium-sized businesses that employed and trained Cubans. These Americans brought their talents and money to Cuba.
My uncle's employer saw his business closed and confiscated. He was never compensated by the Cuban government.
Who is going to look after all of those Americans now that we plan to lift the embargo? Maybe someone should ask President Obama the next time he takes questions from the press.
Last year, Leon Neyfakh called on us to remember the issue:
What’s often forgotten, though, is that the embargo was actually triggered by something concrete: an enormous pile of American assets that Castro seized in the process of nationalizing the Cuban economy.
Some of these assets were the vacation homes and bank accounts of wealthy individuals.
But the bulk of the confiscated property -- originally valued at $1.8 billion, which at 6 percent simple interest translates to nearly $7 billion today -- was sugar factories, mines, oil refineries and other business operations belonging to American corporations, among them the Coca-Cola Co., Exxon and the First National Bank of Boston.
A 2009 article in the Inter-American Law Review described Castro’s nationalization of U.S. assets as the “largest uncompensated taking of American property by a foreign government in history.”
It's amazing to me that President Obama did not demand a solution to this pending issue prior to agreeing to any normalization.
Who is going to protect American investors? It does not look like the Obama administration will do so!