Reaffirmation of Cuba dignity and sovereignty act
Presentation of the bill by Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, President of the National Assembly of the People’s Power.
With the participation of legislators from the Commissions on International Relations, Constitutional and Legal Affairs and Economic Affairs, I have the privilege of presenting this bill, which is our response to the illegitimate and interventionist monstrosity that violates all norms of international law, and which has been passed by the Congress of the United States, known by the names of its authors.
Before laying the basis for the bill we propose, I would like to refer briefly to the circumstances surrounding the enactment of that document by the United States government.
Completely and deliberately falsifying the truth, the incident of February 24 has been used as an attempted excuse for proposing the adoption of that so-called law by the United States.
In the first place, it must be said that at no time before February 24, after February 24 or after the passage of the so-called Helms-Burton Law did the U.S. authorities declare clearly, specifically or officially their intention of vetoing the bill, of stopping it.
Moreover, the essence of the Helms-Burton Law, as enacted, remained practically unchanged after November, 1995, precisely after November 13, 1995. It was then that the Senate and House agreed on a single bill–previously, there were two versions–and both Democrats and Republicans concurred on the wording of the text, which, I repeat, is practically identical to the one which was finally adopted.
This occurred little more than three months before the incidents of February. But, additionally, as we are well aware, an essential element of this U.S. monstrosity relates to the intention of returning their so-called “properties” to Batista’s cohorts, to the embezzlers and exploiters born in Cuba who later became U.S. citizens.
I have here a public document, a report which is presented annually to the U.S. Congress by the Federal Claims Commission, the agency which deals with reclamation of North American citizens’ properties in other countries.
This is the 1990 report: that is, five years before the first version of what is now the Helms-Burton Law was submitted to Congress, and two years, even, before the so-called Torricelli Law was adopted.
The last section of the report, referring to future programs of the Commission, states that the agency has before it requests to re-open the Cuban claims program, which was carried out in the sixties and culminated in the seventies, related to U.S. reclamation on U.S. properties that were nationalized in Cuba at the beginning of the Revolution. The requests call for extending this program to include so-called new claimants.
The U.S. Congress received this public report in 1990; and received reports repeating the same thing in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995. That is, the pretension of extending supposed rights to alleged new claimants for the return of their properties in Cuba significantly predates the February incident, and certainly the Helms-Burton and Torricelli Laws.
At this point, I won’t elaborate on the facts that clearly illustrate that this incident was in no way Cuba’s responsibility, but that of the United States alone.
There is no need to detail the history of small aircraft, flying from the North, which have been used since the triumph of the Revolution for sabotage, military provocations, introducing elements and biological substances, and introducing into this country bacteria to affect our crops, but also to affect, as they have, the lives of our fellow citizens.
I won’t refer at this time to the long list of incidents violating our sovereignty carried out by the same counterrevolutionary group which participated in the February 24th events. But it should be remembered that the North Americans themselves, long before February 24th, had initiated an investigation, legal proceedings, against these persons. They had asked for and received Cuba’s cooperation in order to act against these individuals. They had thanked us for our cooperation, and had ordered that group to cease and desist from repeating such illegal actions.
Nor will I extend myself noting the fact that, through various channels, our government had warned the United States government of the dangers inherent in the repetition of such incidents and illegal actions by groups in Florida; nor the fact that through the same channels, we received assurances and commitments, expressing the intent of putting a stop to further incidents, a willingness which moreover corresponded with the communication between both foreign offices, with what is expressed in this document, with the cooperation they had requested and which we had offered to avoid a repetition of such actions.
Neither will I refer to the fact that, contrary to all the false reports that spoke of supposed civilian aircraft, it happens that the plane in question, a Cessna-337, is defined in all the aviation manuals as a dual-purpose craft, suitable for either civilian or military missions.
I do not need to remind you that these planes were used for military purposes in Vietnam and Central America; nor will I refer to the abundant literature in the Miami press, where some persons requested the Pentagon let them have several of the Cessna-337s, available precisely because the Salvadoran conflict had ended.
I am not going to repeat, but simply demonstrate that articles like this one (shows the press clip) appeared in the Miami press, where you can see a U.S. newspaper editor on board a plane which still bears the insignia USAF, identifying it as a U.S. Air Force aircraft. Nor will I explain this photo (exhibits photo) of a plane, with the identifying letters of the U.S. Air Force still on its wing, and which investigators of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reported they found in Miami in the same hangar used by this group, and as they stated–quite accurately–still carried the letters. The “F”, although somewhat blurred, could be easily seen in close-ups.
Neither will I delve into the way the United States manipulated the investigation entrusted to the International Civil Aviation Organization: they did not permit investigators to interview any witnesses; falsified evidence and refused to turn over the original tape recordings in their possession; and destroyed or did not submit data from their radar systems. They obstructed the investigation, made it more difficult, and prolonged it to the utmost. In short, they manipulated it.
But I do want to dwell on a single point which proves the responsibility which fell and falls on certain U.S. authorities.
In the ICAO investigators’ report itself, they refer to the fact that on February 13, the State Department had sent a communication to other branches of the U.S. government, warning them of the possibility that some problem might occur with these aircraft, an incident that might involve Cuba.
On February 24th, the same Department requested the tower at Oppa Locka airport near Miami report whether these planes had taken off or were about to do so. At 13:08, Oppa Locka informed Washington that the planes were on the runway, and were positioning themselves to begin takeoff; and at 13:15, they communicated with Washington once again, this time to report that the planes had just taken off. This is what the North Americans admitted, and permitted to be reflected publicly in the investigators’ report. They also furnished the investigators with this map (exhibits map), which traces with this light green broken line the route which had been authorized, the flight plan approved by the federal authorities for that plane; and then in a darker, blue unbroken line, the actual route followed. The map reads:a route pproved here, planned route, and actual route.
If you look closely, you will see that the flight begins at 13:15 from Oppa Locka and the map stops at 15:20 when the planes are already entering Cuban airspace–it stops there for reasons I will explain later. But note that this means that for one hour and 45 minutes of a flight that lasted approximately two hours, the planes were flying over Florida or the area of the straits which are under U.S. air control jurisdiction, or what is termed the Flight Information Zone, which belongs to the United States of America from the 24th Parallel north.
During one and three-quarters hours of a two-hour flight, these planes were violating U.S. territory, U.S. laws and U.S. regulations. Yet, the United States did absolutely nothing to halt the continued violation of its own norms, or to prevent an international incident.
Notice how, departing from the authorized route–an action that international covenants determine is reason enough to force a craft to terminate its flight and land–they saw and recorded, and so informed the ICAO, that instead of following a route which would have taken them approximately north of Villa Clara, the planes headed directly south, with the capital of the Republic of Cuba straight ahead, and they maintained that direction at all times, until that point where they decided to observe discretion and not refer to anything beyond 15:20 hours.
But as often happens, lies are short-lived and it is not easy to hide the truth forever. After the ICAO investigation, a legal case was heard by a U.S. federal judge, before whom several witnesses testified and several documents presented. Among the witnesses was a Mr. Houlihan, the officer in charge of the United States radar services, who has the responsibility of recording and controlling flights to and from the United States.
This gentleman is cited in the lengthy documentation reviewed by the judge, which of course has not been reported in the major media, but which is public record. To give you an idea of the length of the documentation, Mr. Houlihan’s testimony appears on page 1796, where he states that on February 17th–February 17th!–that is, one week before the incident, he was summoned to a meeting with other U.S. officers or officials whose identities I do not have, since he did not name them. However, he did explain that the meeting was an official one to which he was summoned because of his responsibilities, where it was stated that on February 24, this group was going to fly from Oppa Locka to Cuba to create a political incident.
A few pages later in his testimony, Mr. Houlihan explains that on February 23, that is one day before the incident, he was summoned to a second meeting, where it was confirmed: “Tomorrow, February 24, this group will take off from Miami to fly over Cuba, to create a political incident.”
On February 24th, according to Mr. Houlihan’s testimony on page 1808–and these are statements made under oath, during a trial–he was summoned at 7:45 am to yet another meeting with other officers, where it was reaffirmed that the flight and the programmed incident would take place that day.
In addition to testimony from witnesses, the judge was presented with documents like this one (exhibits document), which is a record, a log, of the U.S. radar services, which gives a minute-by-minute account. In the case of these planes, you see that the map ended at 20 past the hour, correct? Was this because they lacked further data? No, it was because it was not in their interests to reveal this data to the world.
I am going to read what this log says transpired at 22 past, two minutes later. I quote:
“I saw three airplanes”–these belonged to the counterrevolutionary group–“crossing into Cuban territory and advancing some three miles, maintaining a southerly course. At 3:23,” it continues, “the three planes continue advancing inside Cuban territory towards the south.” If we review these events, we will see that we are talking about the very instant that our Air Force, fulfilling its duty and acting with absolute responsibility, defended our country’s skies and put an end to the violation of our sovereignty and to this threat, a serious threat to the population of the City of Havana.
The question must be asked: Which government is responsible for this incident? Which one had prior knowledge? Which one could have prevented this from happening? The Cuban government, which had received promises, which had been informed that measures had been taken against these people, which had cooperated in adopting these measures; or the government whose authorities obviously knew in advance that the flight was going to take place as a provocation, just as Mr. Houlihan testified?
How can it be explained that they knew about the flight one week in advance, if–as is well known, and is also reflected in the ICAO testimonies–permission for take-off by a civilian aircraft is requested only minutes before take-off? That is, apparently, no one knew until mid-day on February 24th, that the flight would take place: but the State Department knew, the Radar Service knew, and they had reiterated their warnings about the flight on several occasions. How can you explain such knowledge, if not as collusion with the ones responsible for this outrageous and malicious act?
They went to the trouble of verifying that the planes were there, that they took off; they traced their entire route, registered the violation of Cuban airspace, confirmed that throughout the flight they were violating U.S. regulations, and later concealed the evidence. They justified the provocation and are attempting to use the United Nations as a pretext for imposing on the world a law which the whole world rejects.
Summing up, it can be said that on the U.S. side, there are authorities who were responsible for the incident, that allowed it to happen, that aided in the cover-up, and that in fact facilitated or were associated in some way with its preparation and planning. To what extent? History will tell.
I only wish to point out the following: on May 8, 1996, Mr. Dennis Hayes, who until May of the year before had headed the State Department section dealing with Cuba, was questioned at a U.S. Senate hearing, and admitted that he personally had flown in this group’s planes. When one senator appeared surprised at such a thing, and asked how it could be possible, the answer he received was extraordinary. Said Mr. Hayes: “When I was named to that post, I found that was normal practice, that my predecessors had also done it.” I don’t know if Mr. Hayes successors have continued the tradition. But even he, who was charged with attending to relations with Cuba, accompanied the provocateurs on several of their flights.
It has also been demonstrated that some of these planes, in addition, came from the U.S. Air Force, and the ICAO has documents submitted by Cuba which prove that these individuals, moreover, received equipment, received training, and the pilot provocateurs are even pictured on film in meetings with U.S. officers.
It is against this backdrop of lies, falsifications, gross adulteration of the facts, that some have tried to justify the enactment of the monstrosity known as Helms-Burton.
That North American law–to somehow label it–attempts to deny Cuba’s existence as a sovereign state, to eliminate the Cuban nation, impose colonial servitude and enslave our people; it seeks to intensify and universalize the blockade by sanctions and illegal threats against third parties, to force them to accept Yankee policy. Its purpose is to economically strangle Cuba, and increase our people’s difficulties; it makes immoral use of food and medicines as weapons of war; attempts to turn suffering, hardship and sickness into instruments of a policy which cynically manipulates the concept of freedom, that prostitutes the idea of liberty and whose real objective is to lead an entire nation to martyrdom. The Platt Amendment pales in comparison. This is, strictly speaking, a genocidal act, publicly announced and openly and shamelessly promoted.
Moreover, this law, although U.S. propaganda has attempted to confuse this issue, has been in effect since March of this year, when President Clinton saw fit to sign it.
On August 16th this year, President Clinton declared at the White House that he was designating a man by the name of Eizenstat as special envoy for Cuban affairs. Since then, this gentleman has tired himself out traveling the world over, trying to confuse or put pressure on other governments, trying to create a common front against Cuba, supposedly to promote what they call “democracy”. That is the title they have assigned him: “special envoy for democracy in Cuba.”
But when Clinton presented this gentleman, he explained that he would continue in the posts he has held during many years in the United States. One of these is Under Secretary of Commerce, the other is special envoy for the return of properties in Eastern and Central Europe. That is the U.S. idea of democracy: democracy is returning the lands to the big landowners, the factories to the former exploiters. And this is the only democracy that Mr. Eizenstat knows anything about. I don’t think he knows anything about workers parliaments; I don’t believe he has ever met with a People’s Council; nor do I think he has ever sought out the feelings and concerns of the North American or any other people. What he knows a great deal about, and where he has been successful–as I’ll explain later–is in recovering nationalized or expropriated properties, which with this law, is the essential meaning for the Yankees of the destruction of the Cuban Revolution and the imposition in Cuba of the model or kind of democracy that they promote.
Let us not confuse the issue. The law makes this absolutely clear. It does not mean that the problems between Cuba and the United States would be solved if we were to go insane and accept the imposition here of the U.S. regime; even so our problems with them would not be resolved. Neither does it propose our surrender to put a stop to the war; nor does it even suggest that our collective suicide could put an end to the differences with the United States. If there is something for which we should be grateful to Mr. Helms and Mr. Burton, it is that they have put things quite clearly in the law. I don’t plan to analyze the law, but I would like to refer to a particular paragraph, the one that ends Title II of the law, which as you know, is the part outlining the annexationist plan. It offers a description of how they would organize the Republic of Cuba once, through intensified economic warfare, they had managed to destroy the Cuban Revolution–something that of course, they will never accomplish. But in their plan, once they had done this, then Cuba would enter what they call a period of transition, which in reality would be a bloodbath, the extermination of our people who would not be willing to give up their achievements so easily. Then, according to the law, the “democratic regime” would emerge in Cuba, which to be considered democratic would have to be certified by the President of the United States, subject to approval by Congress.
So, now there is this “democratic government” which has emerged after the victory of the counterrevolution, which has been set up to organize Cuba as they would have it organized. But nevertheless, so there is no room for doubt, the last paragraph of that Title closes with this statement: “the future diplomatic and economic relations, the possibility of normalizing diplomatic and economic relations between the United States and that democratic government of Cuba have an indispensable prerequisite”, which they term the solution of the property question.
On September 20, the State Department announced the establishment of a special unit to oversee application of the Helms-Burton Law, within the Office of Cuban Affairs of that Yankee ministry. In making the announcement, they not only outlined the functions of the office, but also gave its telephone and fax numbers, its mailing address, and announced they would provide its e-mail address, and went on to explain why the unit had been created. They set it up to make an effort to locate persons who might have owned some property which had been expropriated in Cuba after 1959.
They make reference to the already-known group of North Americans affected by the agrarian reform and nationalization laws, persons who were U.S. citizens at the time. However, they say that there are many, many others who have still to come forward. So they create this unit to promote the search for these people, to find them. Or in other words, to mobilize the whole mob of former exploiters, torturers, mafiosos, and spur them on to make their claims, to file suits and go after those countries and companies investing in Cuba. Thus, while at times they try to say they are acting with moderation, “democratically”, in practice they have continued step-by-step applying the law in a way that cannot go unheeded by Cubans.
A little later, on September 27, the State Department published a report, in fulfillment of provisions set down by the Helms-Burton Law.
This is the report they are mandated to make under Section 207 of the law. This section asks the State Department to present its assessment of how the issue of properties will be treated, now that the U.S. claimants are joined by the Batista followers, the embezzlers, etc., etc. They are asked for a study on the significance of this, and for government proposals on how this section of the law should be applied.
This is the document they publish on September 27, and here, among other issues, they define to some extent the nature of that future democratic government.
That government, among other things. would have U.S. advisors coming to this country to write the laws to govern the solution of property questions. It would have advisors to help create institutional mechanisms for returning properties, and advisors to carry out–and this is no surprise–a program to educate the people of Cuba, to teach them the virtues and advantages of once again making the big landholders owners of the land, the former exploiters owners of the factories, the landlords owners of the housing where the majority of Cubans live today, etc. And this series of recommendations is capped by demonstrating the true nature of Mr. Eizenstat’s “democratic mission”. It says that Mr. Eizenstat’s experience in Europe, his accomplishments in Eastern and Central Europe in terms of recovered properties, would be extremely useful, a valuable contribution to applying this program conceived for the future of Cuba.
The draft bill has been presented to you, with the series of modifications proposed by the three commissions mentioned earlier, taking into consideration all the foregoing, and the significance of the measures adopted by the Yankees.
With this bill, we seek to ensure a comprehensive response by the entire Cuban nation to that monstrosity which intends to destroy it. Our law seeks to prevent and punish any form of collaboration in Cuba with the application of Helms-Burton or any of its clauses. It would clearly define our position on the famous issue of property compensation, clearly reaffirming that a process of negotiation based on equality and mutual respect between the government of the United States and the government of the Republic of Cuba, which would include indemnization to Cuba for the blockade, attacks, theft, and crimes of Batista’s men and embezzlers, is the only way to find a just solution to fair and adequate compensation, which our own laws have always contemplated for former owners whose properties were once nationalized.
I would like to clarify, what’s more, that when we refer to possible fair and adequate compensation in the context just described, we are speaking exclusively of those who were U.S. citizens at the time of nationalization, and no one else. But, furthermore, the interests of these U.S. citizens, who were citizens at the time of nationalization, would only be considered if they in no way associate themselves with the Helms-Burton Law, take advantage of its possibilities, or try to use it against third parties or in any other form.
In addition, our law seeks to protect foreign investments in Cuba, assist investors who might face adverse consequences due to attempts to apply the Helms-Burton Law against them. We consider this a fundamental obligation, our duty towards those who have shown respect for Cuban sovereignty, who have had confidence in our development potential, and who have respected our laws and find themselves threatened or unjustly attacked as a consequence of Helms-Burton.
Our law also seeks to encourage our people’s participation in confronting this Yankee monstrosity. First, by updating the data on our national claim, through mechanisms proposed in one of its articles, via the claims commissions which the Ministry of Justice is mandated to establish. And in addition, we will continue promoting the study of this Yankee monstrosity so that every Cuban knows it in full detail, so that all of us are consciously prepared to confront it, and to assure that future generations will also be prepared.
One last word on the property question, an essential factor of the U.S. law, as it refers to Cuba.
We must remember that this nation was founded by men who decided to join with the exploited, the slaves, the poor people, sacrificing their wealth, their families, their personal property and their own lives. They decided to sacrifice everything for the great property they created, a homeland that they thought should belong to all, not just a few. In fact, those patricians of the independence war of 1868 were unjustly stripped of their properties, receiving absolutely no compensation from the Spanish colonialists, properties that in many cases, were later taken over by Yankee monopolies and those who served them in this country.
It is not the U.S. empire, but our homeland, that has so much to reclaim: compensation for intervention and humiliation, aggression and siege; and compensation for its people, the Cuban people, who suffered hunger and malnutrition, poverty and homelessness as a few became rich off the sweat of others, the poor people who had no schools or hospitals, because others had embezzled from the national treasury.
It is not the big landowners who have anything to reclaim here, but in any case, the small farmers who suffered evictions, misery and exploitation; not the exploiters, who lived off the labor of our workers, but our workers who helped to enrich a privileged minority and who before had no rights at all; not the racists who have claims here, but the black and mestizo people who in the past suffered discrimination and humiliation; it is not the empire, but the nation, which has much to reclaim and to demand, which has all the rights and which will never renounce them.
This U.S. law was christened using the words solidarity and democracy. We know the law continues to be a mystery for North Americans, that only a few of them have become acquainted with it or even read it for the simple reason that no one has published it. But we have published it here, and taken the trouble to do whatever is necessary for our people to become familiar with its every detail. And we are the ones who will give it a truly democratic answer.
We are going to demonstrate what democracy and solidarity are. We are going to make sure that all our people, all our organizations, are aware of what the annexationist plan means for Cuba; that they know our response, and are mentally and intellectually prepared to guarantee that the present generation of Cubans will never be enslaved, will never be destroyed, will not see their achievements liquidated by the imperialist enemy. But, in addition, that we are able to guarantee that our children and our children’s children have the same will of steel for centuries to come, the same firm and indomitable consciousness of today’s Cubans, to ensure that neither exploitation, poverty nor the U.S. empire will ever return to this country.
Thank you very much. (Applause)
RICARDO ALARCON DE QUESADA Quesada, president of the National Assembly of People’s Power of the Republic of Cuba
LET IT BE KNOWN: That the National Assembly of People’s Power, in its session on December 24, 1996, Centennial Year of the Death in Combat of Antonio Maceo, corresponding to the 7th Regular Session of the 4th Legislature, has approved the following:
WHEREAS: In the United States of America, the Helms-Burton Act, which has as its objective the colonial reabsorption of the Republic of Cuba, has been put into effect.
WHEREAS: Cuba has long suffered the imperialist policies of the United States of America designed to take control of Cuba through different means, starting with the attempts to buy the island from Spain, through the application of its ideas of Manifest Destiny and the concept that Cuba is a ripe apple which will fall into U.S. hands, and the resulting Monroe Doctrine, attempting to systematically impede our struggles for national liberation, to the 1898 intervention which thwarted the independence for which the Cubans had been fighting with machetes, courage, intelligence, and audacity, thus converting Cuba into its colony.
WHEREAS: Through the Platt Amendment and its continued intervention and meddling in the internal affairs of the country, the United States of America usurped part of the national territory by installing the Guantánamo naval base, imposed corrupt and despotic regimes, including the ignominious and bloody tyrannies of Machado and Batista, and since 1959 has systematically attacked Cuba with the declared objective of putting an end to its independence, eliminating Cuban nationality, and forcing the population into servitude.
WHEREAS: The Cuban people, faithful bearers of the independence legacy of the Liberation Army fighters, of the workers, peasants, students and intellectuals who have fought and will continue to fight the pretensions of their enemy of over a century, are prepared to undertake the greatest efforts and sacrifices to maintain the sovereignty, independence and freedom that they won forever on January 1, 1959.
WHEREAS: The process of nationalizing the riches and the natural resources of the Nation, carried out by the Revolutionary Government in the name of the Cuban people, was put into effect in accordance with the Constitution, existing laws and international law, without discrimination, with the objective of public benefit, making available adequate compensations, which were agreed upon through bilateral negotiations with all of the governments involved, with the exception of the United States of America, which refused it because of its policy of blockade and aggression, gravely damaging its own citizens with its actions.
WHEREAS: The Cuban people will never permit their country’s destiny to be determined by laws dictated from any foreign power.
WHEREAS: The Helms-Burton Act has been almost unanimously rejected by the international community, due to its violation of the principles of international law, recognized in the United Nations Charter, as well as for its extraterritorial application which contradicts international norms, attempting to arbitrarily and illegally dictate rules to be followed by other states.
WHEREAS: An important number of foreign businesspeople have demonstrated their confidence in Cuba by investing in the country or negotiating possible investments, using all the possible legal formulas to contribute to the protection of their interests.
WHEREAS: The National Assembly of People’s Power, as the representative of all of the people, repudiates the Helms-Burton Act and declares its uncompromising decision to adopt all possible legal formulas as a response to this anti-Cuba legislation, and to demand the compensation to which the State and the people of Cuba have a right.
THEREFORE: By the powers granted by Article 75, subparagraph b, of the Constitution of the Republic, the National Assembly of People’s Power has adopted the following:
LAW NUMBER 80
Reaffirmation of Cuba dignity and overeignty act.
Article 1: The Helms-Burton Act is declared illegal, inapplicable and without value or legal impact.
Consequently, all claims by persons or corporations, regardless of citizenship or nationality, on the basis of the Helms-Burton Act, shall be considered null and void.
Article 2: The disposition of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, expressed in the nationalization laws implemented more than 35 years ago, in relation to an adequate and just compensation for the expropriated goods of persons and corporations which had U.S. citizenship or nationality at that time, is reaffirmed.
Article 3: The compensation for the U.S. properties nationalized by virtue of this legitimate process, validated by Cuban laws and international law, to which the previous article refers, may form part of a negotiating process between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Cuba on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
The compensation claims for the nationalization of said properties should be examined
together with the compensation to which the Cuban State and people have a right, as a result of the damages caused by the blockade and all types of aggressions for which the Government of the United States of America is responsible.
Article 4: Any person or corporation of the United States of America that uses the procedures and mechanisms of the Helms-Burton Act, seeks its protection or tries to employ it in any way shall be excluded from the possible future negotiations referred to in Articles 2 and 3.
Article 5: The Government of the Republic of Cuba is in charge of adopting the provisions, means and additional facilities that will be necessary for the complete protection of current and potential foreign investments in Cuba, and the defense of legitimate interests of the same in the face of actions that could derive from the Helms-Burton Act.
Article 6: The Government of the Republic of Cuba is charged with applying or authorizing the formulas that are required for the protection of foreign investors against the application of the Helms-Burton Act, including the transfer of foreign investors’ interests to fiduciary companies, financial units or investment funds.
Article 7. The competent state bodies, as authorized by the Government of the Republic of Cuba, in accordance with the provisions of the legal regulations in force, shall provide foreign investors who request them all available information and documentation necessary for the defense of their legitimate interests against the provisions of the Helms-Burton Act.
In addition, they shall supply the above-mentioned information and documentation to foreign investors who request them in order to pursue legal action in the courts of their respective countries, by authority of legal provisions that protect their interests or that have been established to prevent or limit the application of the Helms-Burton Act.
Article 8. Any form of collaboration, direct or indirect, which favors the application of the Helms-Burton Act is declared unlawful. Collaboration shall be defined as, among other acts:
Seeking information for or supplying information to a representative of the Government of the United States or any other individual for the purpose of using it directly or indirectly in the possible application of the act, or aiding another person in seeking or supplying such information.
Requesting, receiving, accepting or facilitating the distribution of or benefiting in any way from financial, material or other forms of resources issued by the Government of the United States of America or channeled by it through its representatives or through any other means, for purposes which would benefit the application of the Helms-Burton Act.
Divulging, disseminating, or aiding in the distribution of information, publications, documents or propagandistic material from the Government of the United States of America, its agencies or dependencies or any other source, with the purpose of facilitating the application of the Helms-Burton Act.
Collaborating in any way with radio or television stations or other media or propaganda sources with the purpose of facilitating the application of the Helms-Burton Act.
Article 9. The Government of the Republic of Cuba shall present the National Assembly of People’s Power or the Council of State, depending on the jurisdiction involved, with the draft legislation necessary for imposing sanctions for all actions which in one way or another involve collaboration with the objectives of the Helms-Burton Act.
Article 10. It is hereby ratified that monetary remittances sent by persons of Cuban origin resident abroad to family members residing in Cuba shall not be subject to taxes of any kind. The Government of the Republic of Cuba shall adopt all measures deemed necessary to facilitate such remittances.
Persons of Cuban origin resident abroad shall be permitted to hold bank accounts in freely convertible currency or in Cuban pesos in Cuban banks, and the interest accruing on these accounts shall not be subject to taxes of any kind.
In addition, it shall be permitted for insurance policies to be taken out naming permanent residents of Cuba as beneficiaries. The beneficiaries shall be allowed to freely collect the corresponding payments without paying taxes of any kind.
Article 11. The Government of the Republic of Cuba shall maintain current data on the compensation owed by the Government of the United States of America as a consequence of the effects of the economic, trade and financial blockade and its aggression against the country, and shall add to these claims the damages and losses caused by thieves, embezzlers, corrupt politicians and mafiosos, as well as the torturers and murderers who were part of the Batista dictatorship, for whose actions the Government of the United States has taken responsibility by approving the Helms-Burton Act.
Article 12. Individuals who themselves or whose family members have been the victims of personal injury or material damage as the result of the actions sponsored or supported by the Government of the United States of America referred to in the following paragraph shall be able to file claims for the corresponding compensation before the Claims Commissions that shall be created and organized by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Cuba, and which shall be authorized to decide upon the validity of these claims, as well as upon the amount owing and the responsibility of the United States of America.
The actions referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include death, injury or economic losses caused by the torturers and murderers of the Batista dictatorship, as well as by saboteurs and criminals in the service of U.S. imperialism against the Cuban nation since January 1, 1959.
The Ministry of Justice shall be authorized to regulate the procedures involved in filing the claims referred to in this article and to issue any further resolutions for this purpose.
Article 13. The National Assembly of People’s Power and the Government of the Republic of Cuba shall cooperate and work in coordination with other parliaments, governments and international agencies, with the aim of promoting any actions deemed necessary to block the application of the Helms-Burton Act.
Article 14. The people of Cuba as a whole are called upon to continue the profound and systematic examination of the annexationist and colonialist plans of the Government of the United States of America included in the Helms-Burton Act, as a means of ensuring that in every territory, community, workplace, educational institution and military unit there is full knowledge of the specific consequences that the execution of these plans would entail for each and every citizen, and to guarantee everyone’s active and conscientious participation in the measures needed to defeat them.
FIRST: The Government of the Republic of Cuba and the appropriate state agencies shall be authorized to issue any resolutions deemed necessary for the fulfillment of the provisions of the present Law.
SECOND: Any laws or regulations contrary to the present Law shall be rendered null and void when this law enters into effect, upon publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic.
ISSUED at the National Assembly of People’s Power session at the International Conference Center in the City of Havana, on the twenty-fourth day of december of nineteen hundred and ninety-six.