Washington, August 28 (RHC)—Five new lawsuits were filed Tuesday in the United States against Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise and MSC Cruises lines under Title III of the controversial Helms-Burton Law against Cuba.
The Seatrade Cruise News website reported that two plaintiffs took that legal step in the southern state of Florida after a federal judge rejected a motion filed by another cruise company, Carnival Corp., to dismiss a lawsuit against them, also under Title III.
The Helms-Burton Law, which was approved by the U.S. Congress in 1996, codifies the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington against Cuba almost 60 years ago.
Although it went into effect at that time, all administrations since waived the application of the title, which allows U.S. nationals to sue those who the law considers 'traffic' in 'U.S. property' on the Caribbean island.
Through such a section, which the Republican executive Donald Trump decided to activate this year, venues are opened for legal action against persons and entities, even from third countries, who invest in Cuban territory in properties nationalized after the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959.
One of the plaintiffs is Javier Garcia, who also filed in May the aforementioned claim against Carnival Corp. and now takes a similar step against Norwegian Cruise and Royal Caribbean. He argues that he is the legal owner of the port of the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba.
Lawsuits were also filed against Norwegian Cruise, Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises on behalf of Havana Docks Corporation, a company owned by Mickael Behn that claims to be the 'rightful owner of certain commercial real estate' in the Port of Havana.
Like García, Havana Docks Corporation also filed a complaint against Carnival Corp. on May 2, the same day that the Trump administration allowed the activation of Title III as part of its policies of hostility against Cuba.
The U.S. government's decision to allow the application of Title III was made despite the fact that numerous voices inside and outside the U.S. condemned this action to tighten the blockade, which is aimed primarily at depriving the Caribbean country of foreign investment.