In exchange for subsidized Venezuelan oil and preferential loans, Cuba has exported its police state to Venezuela. Now Havana must pay for its allegiances.
Trump’s Cuba Sanctions Will Punish Maduro’s Enablers in Havana
National Security Advisor John Bolton recently announced new policies aimed to hasten the restoration of democracy in Venezuela. One of the initiatives is to fully implement Title 3 of the United States’ trade embargo against Cuba.
Title 3 has been on the books for more than twenty years, yet this will be the first time it will be fully implemented. What that means is that U.S. citizens will now be allowed to sue foreign companies trafficking in stolen property in Cuba. The move is meant to help increase pressure on the Cuban regime and their allies in Venezuela.
President Bill Clinton signed the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act into law in 1996. But his and subsequent administrations have consistently issued waivers bypassing full enforcement of the law. This allowed the Cuban regime and foreign companies doing business with them to profit off property seized from Americans without compensation. The waivers have helped line the pockets of the Castros and their cronies for decades.
Cuba is a one-party state. It is run by a military regime that controls nearly 90 percent of the economy and 80 percent of the island’s workers. This convergence of the commercial and state sector reduces the ability of foreign countries to engage Havana on issues outside of business.