Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hell hath no fury...

This could get interesting.

Ana Margarita Martinez, the ex-wife of Juan Pablo Roque, a Cuban agent who bolted Miami and his marriage just before the Brothers to the Rescue shootdown, is seeking to collect on a $27 million judgment she won against the Cuban government. There being no ready source of Cuban government cash laying around within U.S. jurisdiction, she is going after the fees that Miami charter companies pay to the Cuban government for landing rights and services. The charter companies are fighting it in court.

The Miami Herald story is here, and Babalu has the press release issued on Martinez’ behalf.

If Martinez is ultimately successful, it would seem that flights to Cuba would end. On the other hand, this strategy would have been tried before by others holding judgments against Cuba, and would be used to collect from revenues that U.S. phone companies pay to Cuba, or from airlines’ payments for overflight rights, or from cargoes of agricultural products that are loaded at U.S. ports for shipment to Cuba.

In other words, my hunch is that the federal government protects licensed transactions from legal actions of this type, and that courts have upheld that protection. If anyone with knowledge of this area of the law wants to chime in, please do.

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