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EU ratifies rejection to extraterritoriality of US blockade on Cuba

UE, rechazo, extraterritorialidad, bloqueo, Cuba, EEUU

EU ratifies rejection to extraterritoriality of US blockade on Cuba

Brussels, nov 30 (Prensa Latina) The European Union (EU) reiterated today its rejection to the extraterritorial platform of the US blockade on Cuba represented by the Helms-Burton Act, and stressed that it is considered contrary to International Law.
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On behalf of the European Commission, Commissioner for Financial Services, Mairead McGuinness, set the position of the bloc in response to questions asked months before by Spanish MEPs Ernest Urtasun and Javier Moreno about the EU’s reaction to the impact of the blockade on local companies and citizens resulting from Washington’s policy towards the island.

In this sense, the Irish official specified that the Bloc regrets the full activation of the Helms-Burton Act, an initiative that since 1996 further closes the economic, commercial and financial siege imposed on Cuba for more than six decades.

Former President Donald Trump activated in May 2019 titles III and IV of the regulation that seeks to further strangle the economy of the Caribbean nation, intensifying the persecution of companies and citizens of third countries willing to invest or do business in Cuba.

According to McGuinness, the “Blockade Statute” protects EU economic agents and invalidates the effects of any foreign administrative rule or decision, in reference to Council Regulation 2271, of November 22, 1996, intended to neutralize the scope of extraterritorial laws in Europe.

We are monitoring the application of the regulation in the Member States and supporting our companies, he stressed.

He added that the European Commission established measures to promote the openness, strength and resilience of the EU economic and financial system, and is currently evaluating, in coordination with the European External Action Service, options to guarantee the uninterrupted flow of essential financial services, including payments between the Bloc and trading partners.

McGuinness also asserted that the EU “regularly discusses issues related to restrictive measures with the US government at all relevant levels, as well as with the US Congress, in particular on the effects of the unilateral use of sanctions”.

Urtasun, vice president of the ‘Group of the Greens’ 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.

Various sectors of society in Europe, such as parliamentarians, trade unionists, solidarity activists and citizens demand that Brussels take a more resolute stance against the extraterritoriality of the siege imposed on Cuba.

In this regard, they question that despite protection mechanisms cited by McGuinness, there are many examples in the EU of banks that avoid participating in business related to the Island and avoid money transfers, even for humanitarian purposes, and of companies which give up trading or selling products, fearing retaliation from Washington.

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