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Cuba-U.S. Steering Committee to Tackle Compensation Claims

Havana, September 12 (RHC)-- The General Director for the United States at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Josefina Vidal, told reporters at the end of the first meeting of the Cuba-U.S. Steering Committee on Friday that the two sides decided to consider the issue of compensation claims On their bilateral agenda.

"We have decided to include on the agenda for the next months the issue of compensations. Cuba has claims related to compensations for human and economic damage and there are claims by the U.S. related to the properties nationalized at the time of the triumph of the Revolution."

Vidal said this is a highly complicated issue and added: "I imagine that when the two countries begin to meet, one of the first things that we will have to do is clarify all those numbers.

When Cuba raises the economic and human damage, there are claims appropriately filed with the Havana Provincial Court in 1999 and 2000. In those years, the economic damage was calculated at 121 billion dollars and human damage at 181 billions, but that was 15 years ago, and those figures must be calculated again and include the time that has gone by since then, Vidal said.

She recalled that there is Cuban property frozen in the U.S., which Cuba will put on the bargaining table. There were Cuban accounts frozen too, which disappeared because the money was given to people in the U.S who filed claims against Cuba, while that money belongs to Cuban companies and the National Bank of Cuba, she noted.

Josefina Vidal said that the people appointed to address and discuss the compensation issue will be highly specialized.

Vidal headed the Cuban delegation to the meeting, which was announced by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry on August 14th, during Kerry's visit to Cuba.

The U.S. delegation was headed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Edward Alex Lee.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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