Why is a settlement of claims important?

The principles of individual freedom, democracy and respect for human rights are cornerstones of our democratic society. The right to enjoy the rewards of personal labor, as exemplified by the right to own property, is a fundamental freedom.

Resuming trade and diplomatic relations with Cuba, without first resolving the claims issue, sends a dangerous signal to other foreign nations that unlawful seizures of U.S. property can occur without consequence. The U.S. government must not send a message to the world that it will permit unlawful confiscation of American properties without compensation.

If Congress or the Administration acts to lift the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba before a negotiated settlement is reached, the Cuban government has little incentive to settle outstanding claims, thereby dampening industry confidence and inhibiting the growth of the Cuban economy.

Consequently, any normalization of trade and diplomatic relations prior to the resolution of the claims issue undermines the negotiating position of our government in seeking a just settlement.

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