14ymedio, Havana, 11 December 2015 — Financial compensation for small claimants; tax breaks for big companies, principally multinationals, who want to start businesses on the island: this is Richard E. Feinberg’s proposal in his report, Reconciling US Property Claims in Cuba, to resolve the United States claims for the expropriations that occurred after Fidel Castro took power in 1959. “Transforming Trauma Into Opportunity” is the subtitle of the report.
In his study, Feinberg, a professor of international political economy, analyzes the nearly 6,000 U.S. claims, divided between companies and individuals, large and small, and suggests a hybrid formula by which large conglomerates – which make up 1.7 billion dollars of the total 1.9 billion in claims, not counting interest – could have a range of opportunities for investing with advantageous conditions, for example through preferential rights of acquisition or through bonds that can be redeemed for the payment of taxes.
This week, Cuba and the United States addressed, for the first time, the issue of compensation, one of the thorniest issues in the dialogue opened by both parties on 17 December 2015.
Participating in this “informational” meeting, according to U.S. officials, were the Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister, Abelardo Moreno Fernández, and a legal adviser to the State Department of the United States, Mary McLeod.
Cuba, in its latest annual report on the impact of the embargo that it presented to the United Nations, claimed that the economic damage of more than half a century of the embargo amounts to over 833 billion dollars, based on the value of gold. At current prices, the economic losses total over 121 billion dollars.
For its part, the United States says that the expropriations carried out after the Revolution amounted to nearly 2 billion dollars.