Cuba – Extraterritorial U.S. sanctions (2 May 2019)

The United States has decided to enforce, as of May 2, Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which had been suspended since 1998.

France regrets this decision and reiterates its longstanding concern over the provisions in question whose extraterritorial scope is in violation of international law, as noted by High Representative Federica Mogherini and European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.

France and its European partners are determined to use the instruments at their disposal to protect the economic activities and legitimate investments of their nationals and companies in Cuba. France notes that the European regulation on embargoes applies here. It makes judgments rendered in the United States under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act unenforceable in Europe. European companies and nationals adversely affected by this act will be entitled to sue for compensation, in EU member state jurisdictions, the American individual or company, as well as its representatives, who originated the complaint against them in the United States.

France is committed to promoting democracy and human rights in Cuba, and together with other EU member states intends to pursue its dialogue with the United States on this common goal. However it believes that a policy of isolation and the enforcement of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act will not help facilitate the achievement of this goal.