Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act (Libertad) of 1996

On March 1, 1996, President Clinton signed the Cuban Liberty and Solidarity Act, commonly known as the Libertad Act. The Act primarily targets foreign individuals who traffic in property confiscated by the Cuban government. Additional provisions include:

Title I
Codifies the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba making it applicable to U.S. citizens, including U.S. companies and their foreign subsidiaries and affiliates. In practice, this codification means the President must work with Congress to change existing provisions of the embargo.

Title II
Sets forth U.S. policy towards a transition government and a democratically elected government of Cuba.

Title III
Establishes the basis for U.S. nationals to sue foreign investors in U.S. federal courts for damages arising from "trafficking" in confiscated property that the Cuban government seized without compensation on or after January 1, 1959. As part of the act, the President has the authority to suspend implementation of this section for six-month intervals. Since 1996, the President has suspended the Title III right of action provisions every six months and thus, no suits have been filed. There are, however, many potential claimants poised to sue for damages if the suspension expires.

Title IV
Denies entry into the United States to any aliens who have trafficked in confiscated property of U.S. nationals. This section of the act does not permit suspended implementation.

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