What are U.S. property
claims against Cuba?
In 1960, the Cuban government seized more than $1.8 billion
of property owned by U.S. citizens and corporations and made
no provision for the payment of compensation, as required
under generally accepted rules of international law. This
was the largest uncompensated taking of American property
by a foreign government in U.S. history.
In October 1964, Congress amended the Foreign Claims Settlement
Act and established a Cuban Claims Program under Title V of
the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949.
Under this program, the Foreign
Claims Settlement Commission considered claims of U.S.
nationals against the government of Cuba for their property
losses. The Commission evaluated and certified these claims.
Under the provisions of the Foreign Claims Settlement Act,
the validity and amounts of property claims were determined,
and the Commission's findings were certified to the Secretary
of State for use in future negotiations with the Cuban government.
Of the 8,816 claims filed, the Commission certified 5,911
claims as valid. The Commission also evaluated international
law and determined that certified claimants were entitled
to 6 percent per annum interest on the value of their claims
from the date of seizure. Current estimates of the total value
of U.S. certified claims, including 41 years of accumulated
interest, range from $6.4 billion (simple) to $20.1 billion
U.S. claims against Cuba remain unsettled. At an appropriate
time, the U.S. government expects to resolve these claims.
The U.S. government does not exclude the possibility that,
as part of this settlement, the Cuban government may agree
to return some of the expropriated property to its original
Understanding U.S. Claims