Canada threatened by other u.s. sanctions against Cuba

Le Canada menacé par d’autres sanctions américaines contre Cuba

Photo: Alexander Shields The Duty
The White House must report, from one day to the other, if it intends to fully enable a former act passed in 1996 to tighten the u.s. economic embargo against Cuba.

The canadian and quebec businesses doing business in Cuba are waiting to see if they will have to pay for the new threat from the president Trump on the countries of the Caribbean.

The White House must report, from one day to the other, if it intends to fully enable a former act passed in 1996 to tighten the u.s. economic embargo against Cuba. Such an application would threaten, first and foremost, the foreign companies, including canadian asset owners to Cuba, but could extend to others also.

Chapter III of the Helms-Burton act, which strengthens the embargo of 1962, would allow the cuban exiles to sue in u.s. courts foreign companies to the gains derived from assets nationalized after the revolution of 1959. Until then, us presidents suspension of this clause every six months to avoid conflict with the european allies, canadians or mexicans in the United States. But Donald Trump’s threat, for a month, to break with this practice and must indicate the u.s. Congress, from one day to the other, if the provision is applied for the first time, perhaps as early as mid-march.

The story is closely followed by the president of the Chamber of commerce and industry Canada-Cuba, Nancy Lussier. To reason, Canada being one of the first countries investors in the island and one of its main trading partners, she said. The companies directly to asset owners in Cuba are ” most concerned “. They are found concentrated in the sector of mining, energy and tourism.

This is not the case of the tour operator quebec Transat, which is happy to transport passengers by air in the island. “We do not have investments in Cuba “, said by email his spokesperson, Odette Trottier.

It is true that the Helms-Burton act was also to allow the continuation of third-party companies, that is to say, do not necessarily have the assets at issue, but doing business with their owners, admits Nancy Lussier. It is best however to wait to see how all this will turn. “There are a lot of possible scenarios. No one has any idea where the american government is going. And the companies used to market cuban have learned, over the years, to work in spite of the pressure of the us embargo. “

Support from Ottawa and Quebec

However, on the support of the government. Ottawa had adopted, in the wake of the Helms-Burton act, rules, putting businesses at the shelter of its provisions on the canadian territory. This week, to Bloomberg, it said it was awaiting the american decision to the office of the minister of foreign Affairs, asked by chrystia Freeland, while ensuring that ” we will always to the sides of canadian businesses “.

Same sound of bell on the side of the quebec ministry of international Relations, where it said Friday that ” the Quebec government is watching the situation carefully “.

With since November 2017, an official representation in Havana, the government of Quebec has undertaken to strengthen its economic ties, scientific and cultural with Cuba, a few years ago. It was the time when the american president was Barack Obama and that he talked of rapprochement between his country and Cuba.

With Agence France-Presse


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