The firm, with co-counsel Berliner Corcoran & Rowe, has one of the largest practices in the United States representing claimants under the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996, more commonly known as the “Helms-Burton Act.” The Helms-Burton Act creates a cause of action for trafficking in property that was confiscated by the Cuban Government on or after January 1, 1959.
The Helms-Burton Act was enacted in 1996 to preserve the fundamental right to own and enjoy property which is enshrined in the United States Constitution and to provide a remedy for the wrongful confiscation or taking of property belonging to United States nationals by the Cuban Government, and the subsequent exploitation of this property at the expense of the rightful owner. The Act was suspended until 2019 when the Trump Administration decided not to renew its suspension.
When it enacted the Helms-Burton Act, Congress expressly found that “[s]ince Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba in 1959 … he has trampled on the fundamental rights of the Cuban people; and … through his personal despotism, he has confiscated the property of” Cuban citizens, U.S. nationals, and Cubans who have sought asylum in the United States. 22 U.S.C. § 6081. Recent events, including mass protests, have shown that the Cuban Government—even after the death of Fidel Castro—continues to oppress and deprive its people.
The Cuban Government has allowed companies to benefit and profit from the use of the confiscated property. “This ‘trafficking’ in confiscated property provides badly needed financial benefit, including hard currency, oil, and productive investment and expertise, to the current Cuban Government and thus undermines the foreign policy of the United States.” 22 U.S.C. § 6081.
Our firm is currently handling over a dozen cases involving the Helms-Burton Act. We are seeking justice on behalf of families that had their property, and their dreams, stolen by the Cuban government without compensation. The cases involve a wide array of industries including shipping, mining, and travel booking services. Our firm, with our co-counsel Berliner Corcoran & Rowe, achieved the only settlement in a Helms-Burton Act case to date. The case involved a cement plant on land confiscated by the Republic of Cuba from the family members. The case ended with a confidential settlement.