E.U. reiterates rejection of Helms-Burton law enacted against Cuba

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
2022-02-19 09:17:31


Foto: Finalcial Times

Brussels, February 18 (RHC)-- The European Union (E.U.) ratified that it does not recognize the extraterritorial application of the Helms-Burton law decreed by the United States in 1996 to tighten its blockade against Cuba, legislation that it described as contrary to International Law.

On behalf of the European Commission, Financial Services Commissioner Mairead McGuinness set out the position of the 27-member state organization in response to written questions posed by Belgian MEP Kathleen Van Brempt of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group.

The Commission regrets the full activation in 2019 of the Helms-Burton Act,  McGuinness stressed regarding the decision of then U.S. President Donald Trump to push through Titles III and IV of the initiative to tighten the economic, commercial and financial siege on the island, in particular, to deprive it of access to foreign investments.

McGuinness recalled that the "Blocking Statute," European Council Regulation 2271 of November 22, 1996, protects E.U. economic operators and nullifies the effects of any foreign regulations or administrative decisions.

Since the Statute was updated in 2018, we have received about 30 requests for authorization to exceptionally comply with such foreign laws, she specified to answer one of Van Brempt's concerns.

The commissioner warned that the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act represents a breach of the commitments made by Washington in the 1997 and 1998 EU-US agreements.

She also assured that the European Commission supervises the effective implementation of the "Blocking Statute" and supports European operators in its application.

According to McGuinness, the E.U. frequently discusses the issue of coercive measures and the effects of their extraterritorial component with the U.S. government at different levels.

Last November, the Commissioner for Financial Services had expressed her rejection of Washington's policy, based on questions posed by Spanish MEPs Ernest Urtasun and Javier Moreno.

Urtasun, vice-president of the Green Group in the European Parliament, and Moreno, member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, pointed out that under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, 15 lawsuits have been filed in the United States against 18 European companies.


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