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Making business with Cuba is possible, French jurist affirms

Paris, Jan 30 (Prensa Latina) Matthias Fekl, jurist and former senior French official,on Tuesday, deemed the economic relations with Cuba as possible, despite the effects of the extraterritoriality of the US blockade, a policy against which he demanded responses from the European Union (EU).

Economic activity is possible; we see a complex situation in Cuba, the French companies are still present from small to medium and large-sized firms, in a crucial way and in different sectors, some of them with long-standing cooperation, he told Prensa Latina.

Fekl, who was the Minister of State for Foreign Trade and the Promotion of Tourism between 2014 and 2017, stated that US laws, such as the Helms-Burton Act in 1996, impose particular conditions in the relations with Cuba, due to their extraterritorial scope.

He insisted that they do not impede economic activity, even though they suggest strict legal analyses, in addition to the respect by entrepreneurs and investors of local and international rules, as in any other case.

Faced with this problem of extraterritoriality laws, implementing mechanisms to accompany its enterprises in Cuba and the world in general, and providing them with a protective legal framework is significant and necessary for the EU, said Fekl, who was also Minister of the Interior in the government of President François Hollande (2012-2017).

Fekl has been one of the leading leaders of the rapprochement between France and Cuba since Hollande’s visit to Havana in 2015, followed by that of leader Raul Castro to France in 2016, when agreements and cooperation mechanisms were signed.

On Monday, the jurist participated in a colloquium with the National Assembly speakers, which was organized by the France-Cuba Friendship Group of the National Assembly and the Institute of Higher Studies on Latin America (IHEAL) to strengthen the presence of French firms in Cuba to benefit its inhabitants.