Thursday, October 11, 2007

More on property

As if 1,000 words below is not enough, here are a few more comments on the property issue as treated in the USAID-funded study by Creighton University. If readers can shed light on these issues, please do.

Lots of papers on Cuba property issues refer to a provision in the U.S. tax code that provided compensation to Cuban Americans for properties they had in Cuba, that were expropriated by the Cuban government. As I read it, Cubans who came to the United States and subsequently had their property in Cuba expropriated were allowed to claim a deduction from U.S. taxes based on that loss. So, in effect, the U.S. government provided at least partial compensation for the Cuban government’s expropriation by reducing the property owner’s U.S. taxes. I see no reference to this in the Creighton study.

Creighton does involve the United States in another way: as financier. It says the “clearly preferred situation would be for a democratic transitional Cuban government to acknowledge the legal claims of the claimants and compensate them via a lump-sum payment if at all possible,” and this could be done if the United States government were to provide a “large returned loan on favorable terms.” So the taxpayer would subsidize credit to the Cuban government in order to pay Americans and Cuban Americans who lost property in Cuba.

Finally, when it comes to the Cuban court to handle Cuban American claims, Creighton says Cuba should agree that “All cases shall be decided on the basis of civil law, particularly as derived from the Spanish Civil Code of 1889.” Does that not mean that the Cuban government would be denied the option of retaining elements of its current laws if it so desires?

Creighton’s treatment of the Cuban American claims issue is based on two elements in contradiction: a finding that there is no basis in international law for the United States to be involved, and a proposal that Cuba agree to create a Cuban court in which the U.S. government would play a large role. It’s a proposal that Cuba cede sovereignty because “Cuban judges lack experience presiding over civil cases,” and because if Cuban American claimants are not satisfied, “their political and economic power” could be used in ways detrimental to Cuban interests. At the right time, Cuban propagandists will have a field day with this.


Anonymous said...

I don't think Cuban-Americans knew of that law. I think it wa American companies expropriated by Castro who took advantage of that tax law. I have never ever heard any Cuban stating he or she benefited from that tax write-off or whatever it is called.

Phil Peters said...

It definitely exists, there are many references to it, I'll look for a concise definition of it that I can post. This paper refers to it, for example: said...

The whole study is tainted with USAID money and the fact that the USAID administrator gave this money to a school that has no knowledge of Cuba.

I have written Mr. Borges several times but he is not interested to reply.

I'm happy to say that if you search for Creighton Cuba my article about the shameful study shows up just under the university website.

They should always be reminded that USAID money is not for the benefit of Cubans.

Anonymous said...

Third page of Creighton Report and I can’t believe what my eyes are reading. WHAT A MESS!!!!!! Wrong report, a real disaster. This will give Alarcon months of Mesa Redonda. The most ever sensitive issue for a future Cuba addressed in the most ignorant way, legally and politically. What a beautiful favor to the PCC and G2. Raul might be right 50 years or more with this kind of unforgettable mistakes. Whoever who favored the report must be fired immediately.

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