In an opinion piece published by The Wall Street Journal, Hayes Hunt and Tom Leonard, both of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation department, discuss Obama's recent trip to Cuba and what that means for individual judgment holders and expropriation claims against the Castro regime. On March 20, Obama became the first American head of state to travel to Cuba since Fidel Castro imposed a Communist dictatorship on the island. The visit follows the president’s December, announcement that the United States would pursue a rapprochement with the Castro regime. Since then, the administration has loosened restrictions on conducting business in Cuba, made traveling to the island easier for U.S. citizens, and opened an embassy in Havana.
According to Hayes and Tom, these developments are alarming to people like Cuban-American Milagros Maria Del Pino Suarez, whose pursuit of justice for her father could become a casualty of President Obama’s policies. Ms. Suarez and her brother, Rafael Del Pino, Jr., brought a lawsuit that led to a jury verdict against the Castro regime in a Florida state court in 2008 for the torture and wrongful death of her father, Rafael Del Pino. The jury awarded $254 million in damages to his children against the Castro regime and that judgment has not been recognized or honored.
The opinion piece continues, stating that President Obama, and whomever the next president is, must not forget the Castro regime’s victims, or their family members. Congress must let it be known that it will not fully lift the embargo against Cuba unless these victims get justice. Hayes and Tom ask every presidential candidate, regardless of party, to publicly declare that he or she will insist that the Cuban government abide by the rulings of U.S. courts. The rapprochement between the United States and Cuba is an opportunity to finally secure some measure of justice for many of the victims of the Castro brothers and their surrogates.
To read the full opinion piece, click here (subscription required).
The Castro Victims Alliance, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping businesses with expropriation claims and judgment holders receive just compensation for their injuries caused by the Castro regime. http://castrovictims.org.