During this meeting, Borrell reminded to the U.S. the Spanish government's position regarding the full implementation of the Title III of the Helms-Burton Act and raised concerns about the negative consequences the measure would have on Spanish interests.
"Spain reiterates its firm rejection, as a matter of principle, to the extraterritorial application of national sanction laws, considering it contrary to international law," he said in a statement.
The Helms-Burton Act of 1996 seeks international sanctions against the Castro government in Cuba which supposedly support a "transition government leading to a democratically elected government in Cuba." It was enacted into law by the President of the United States Bill Clinton. Title III proscribes or penalizes trade with Cuba.
Since the Helms-Burton Act came into effect in 1996, every administration has fully suspended Title III. In March 2019, Mike Pompeo, the United States Secretary of State, announced the suspension of Title III for 30 days, from March 19 to April 17.
Mike Pompeo, said that his actions were a response to "the brutal oppression on the part of the Cuban Government of human rights and fundamental freedoms" and its "indefensible support to the increasingly authoritarian and corrupt regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua."
Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez separately described Pompeo’s announcement as "political blackmail and irresponsible hostility aimed at hardening the blockade on Cuba."
In Washington, Spain government points out that the protection and promotion of human rights constitutes one of the basic priorities of Spanish foreign policy and said that Cuba and Spain were holding regular discussions about human rights issues into the framework of a political dialogue agreement.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, Borrell moved concerns about the U.S. policy of pressure towards Cuba to Pompeo, to congressman of the House of Representatives and the Senate.