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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