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This is the first settlement of a legal claim promoted by heirs of a Cuban family under Title III of the U.S. Helms-Burton Act (1996).
The Switzerland-based building materials multinational LafargeHolcim on Monday settled a lawsuit brought to seek compensation for the company’s use of property nationalized by the Cuban government in the 1960s.
This is the first settlement of a legal claim promoted by heirs of a Cuban family under Title III of the U.S. Helms-Burton Act (1996). The norm permits lawsuits against entities that benefit from Cuban properties privately owned before the 1959 Revolution.
Title III was activated by the Donald Trump administration (2017-2021), along with over 240 other unilateral measures aimed at stifling the Cuban economy to force a change in its political system.
In October 2020, the Clafin family sued the company in a Miami court for doing business using assets expropriated from them on the island. LafargeHolcim agreed to settle by paying an indemnification.
Maintaining the inhumane economic blockade on Cuba during the COVID19 pandemic is another blemish in US political history. The Cuban people will never forget or forgive the cruel & immoral act of using COVID as a weapon in order to subject Cuba to US colonial domination. https://t.co/ObljHxcxBO
The family sued LafargeHolcim because the Swiss company invested in 2000 in the claimants' cement plant called "Soledad Sugar Company," which was renamed Karl Marx after the Cuban Revolution.
Almost 40 cases were filed after Trump allowed Title III to take effect in May 2019. Most of the claims are against tourism companies such as Spanish hotel corporations.
"Title III of the Helms-Burton Act is an affront to third States' sovereignty. Our people will strengthen its unity and will count on other nations’ solidarity despite U.S. intentions to isolate us," Cuba's Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriguez tweeted.