Lawsuit Against U.S. For Economic Damages
$121 billion USD demanded in compensation
In the last 40 years, Cuba was faced with two major events which seriously
its technological base. The first began in 1959, when supplies from the United States
were interrupted. the country’s m
end, verdict awaited • United States’ civil responsibility confirmed in
economic warfare wages against Cuba • Lawyers from the eight social and mass
organizations filing the suit base their claim on testimony by more than 100
witnesses, 33 expert reports, extralegal confessions, 40 documents declassified by
the U.S. government and public statements by U.S. presidents
BY RAISA PAIGES
(Granma International staff writer)
THE fact that 294 fishing boats, 78 airplanes, 135 urban and rural schools,
Cuban embassies and consulates have been the targets of terrorism acts and
sabotage, encouraged and financed by the United States over the last 40 years,
would be sufficient to put that government on trial. But that is just one side of the
economic war unleashed against the island starting on January 1, 1959, when the
Revolution crushed the Batista dictatorship that had taken the lives of 20,000 Cubans.
was proven at the public hearings in which evidence was presented related
the civil lawsuit for economic damages. The lawsuit was filed by eight social and
mass organizations in Cuba on January 3, in City of Havana Province’s Civil and
four lawyers representing the plaintiffs provided evidence regarding the
charges filed in the lawsuit through statements by more than 100 witnesses, 33
expert reports, information provided in 40 documents declassified by the U.S.
government, public statements by U.S. presidents and other proof. The jury is headed
by Rafael Enrique Dujarric.
Cabrera Zayas, one of the judges on the panel, stated that this lawsuit
historical and legal continuation of the lawsuit for human damages filed against the
United States in 1999. He pointed out that while the human damages are
considerable, the loss and damage resulting from the United States’ economic
warfare is also significant in terms of the number of victims and the deterioration of
the Cuban population’s quality of life, resulting from the destruction of development
plans and acts of sabotage against economic and social targets.
the U.S. government never refers to its aggression against Cuba as a
"blockade," but rather as an "embargo," a euphemism through which it hopes to
cover up the scope of its dirty and illegal policy, it was proven that—contrary to the
propaganda presented in that country against our island—it is the United States and
not Cuba that must make amends for its wrongdoing.
nationalization of foreign properties on the island was carried out in
with international law, and the only country that did not accept compensation was the
United States, which demanded unfair conditions for a poor country that throughout
history had been exploited and plundered, precisely by those who were now
demanding a "quick, effective and suitable" compensation.
is not a single economic sector, branch or activity on the island that
suffered damages resulting from the blockade imposed by the United States, and this
has exerted a negative influence on the Cuban people’s quality of life, the plaintiffs’
Tania J. Manzanares asked why a child, just because he or she is Cuban,
should not have access to the best health care technology available in the United
States. She added that many U.S. institutions and agencies recognize that this policy
violates international humanitarian legislation.
ain industry, sugar, utilized U.S. equipment exclusively.
1990, with the disappearance of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European
socialist bloc, Cuban began a search for new suppliers and new markets. This
reorientation combined with the blockade meant that the distances over which
imports and exports had to be transported increased an average of 1,000 kilometers,
resulting in additional maritime transportation freight costs, food prices and other
approval of the Torricelli Act, attached to the 1992 Defense Budget, intensified
the blockade by prohibiting branches of U.S. corporations located in third countries
from trading with Cuba, imposing sanctions on countries that provide economic
assistance to Cuba, and reactivating and intensifying sanctions against ships that
transport goods to or from Cuba.
most dangerous and notorious escalation of the United States’ economic
against Cuba was the implantation of the Helms-Burton Act in 1996, aimed at
stemming the tide of foreign investments in Cuba, through various kinds of
intimidation and extraterritorial measures.
not only has there been an economic, commercial and financial
blockade on Cuba, but also military campaigns that led to the defeat of the 1962
mercenary invasion at the Bay of Pigs, and Operation Mongoose, which consisted of
more than 4,000 actions against the island in 14 months, as part of the covert war
against Cuba, explained lawyer Abel Alejandro Solá.
the counterrevolutionary organization The White Rose to the Cuban American
National Foundation, the United States has organized, financed and encouraged
opposition "with a Cuban face" to the Revolution, even though such opposition has
lacked support from the people, Solá charged.
U.S. Senate committee hearing in 1969 noted that biological weapons used
unprotected populations had an effect similar to nuclear warfare, but with a lower
cost, since one person could incapacitate a large part of a metropolitan population by
simply contaminating the water.
is shameful that a country which declares itself a champion of human rights
publicly express such ideas," noted the lawyer. He stated that the chain of biological
attacks on Cuban agriculture began in 1962 with a contaminated poultry vaccine, and
that the most recent attack registered was in September 1997, with the introduction
of a rice mite.
U.S. policy for Cuban immigrants differs radically from the policy for
the rest of
the immigrants to that country. In 1960, President Eisenhower presented to Congress
a proposal to provide more facilities for Cuban immigrants to the United States. The
most insiduous fruit of that policy is the Cuban Adjustment Act, which promotes
emigration through illegal and dangerous means. It is an open invitation to death and
an incentive for the smuggling of human beings.
percent of the Cuban immigrants in the United States arrived in that country
illegally, stated Solá.
case of Elián González sums up the U.S. policy of hostility
against Cuba during
40 years of Revolution, he said. Given the people’s immense capacity to resist, under
these circumstances demanding justice for Cuba means demanding justice for
request that you find on the side of the lawsuit filed for economic damages,"
Mirna Nides who, in accordance with the evidence, demanded that the U.S.
government pay Cuba $121 billion USD for damages and losses.