France Regrets Activation of Title III of Helms Burton Law

France regretted on Friday the decision of the United States to activate the application of Title III of the Helms Burton Act, as part of the intensification of that country''s blockade against Cuba. The spokesman for the Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated that Paris 'regrets this decision and recalls its long-standing concern regarding the provisions concerned.

The extraterritorial scope of such measures, he added, contravenes international law, as indicated by the high representative of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, and the European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmstrom.

'With its European partners, France is determined to use the set of legal instruments at its disposal to protect the economic activities and legitimate investments of its citizens and businesses in Cuba,' the spokesman said.

In this regard, he mentioned the European regulation aimed at blocking the application in Europe of sentences handed down in the United States under Title III of the Helms Burton Act.

'The European companies or nationals affected will have the right to sue, in the courts of the EU member states, the American person or company, as well as their representatives, at the origin of the complaint in the United States, to demand compensation,' the statement said.

Title III of the law allows U.S. nationals to sue before the U.S. courts persons and entities, including those from third countries, who invest in Cuban territory in properties nationalized after the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959.

This could affect European companies or companies from other countries present in the Caribbean nation, due to the criticized extraterritorial scope of the provision.

Although the Helms Burton Act - which codifies Washington's blockade of Cuba - was passed in 1996, the application of its Title III had so far been suspended by successive administrations, including that of Donald Trump in his first two years.

Last April that government announced its intention to activate the sub-paragraph from May 2, which has generated a wave of criticism in the world for considering it contrary to international law.
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