Cuba Agrees to Compensation Dialogue On Confiscated Assets

Thursday, June 1, 2000 - 8:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President for International, Economic and National Security Affairs Craig Johnstone returned from Cuba this afternoon with Cuban government promises to begin a dialogue about compensation for the assets of U.S. citizens nationalized after the Cuban revolution. Further, Cuban government officials have agreed to allow representatives of the small, but growing, Cuban private sector to travel to the U.S. in September for a Chamber-sponsored trip.

"Officials in the Cuban government have agreed to a dialogue with American companies, under the auspices of the U.S. Chamber, on compensation issues regarding American assets that were nationalized when Fidel Castro came to power," said Johnstone.

Johnstone, senior Chamber officials and U.S. business representatives returned from a four-day trip to Cuba to continue discussions about developing cooperative ties with the Cuban private sector. The trip, which followed a delegation last July led by Chamber President Thomas Donohue, included meetings with Cuban Chamber of Commerce leaders, Cuban government officials and Cuban business owners.

"Allowing private business owners and farmers to come to the United States is an historic first step," said Johnstone. "Despite decades of political, economic and social isolation, a small pockets of private business ownership remain. Greater business relationships between our two countries will be a strong influence for change in that society."

The United States Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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