Trump will allow Americans to sue companies in Cuba

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE will allow U.S. citizens to sue companies doing business in Cuba, according to a senior administration official, in his latest move to ramp up pressure on the communist island nation.

National security adviser John Bolton is expected to announce on Wednesday that Trump will enforce a provision of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act that allows Americans to file lawsuits against companies that benefited from the seizure of U.S. property after the 1959 Cuban revolution.

The decision upends more than two decades of U.S. policy and could inflame tensions with allies that do business in Cuba.


Former Presidents Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonPost-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 What Trump voters got right The Memo: Harris move shows shift in politics of gun control MORE, George W. Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaChina, Russia, Iran rise in Latin America as US retreats Castro wants to follow Obama's lead on balancing presidency with fatherhood Trump's regulatory rollback boosts odds of a financial crisis MORE waived the provision out of concern that a flurry of lawsuits against European and other companies could trigger a diplomatic crisis.

The State Department telegraphed the move last month when it stopped the waivers on a short-term basis.

Bolton is scheduled to speak in Miami about the Trump administration’s efforts to counter Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, a group he has labeled the “troika of tyranny.” He will address the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association on the anniversary of the CIA’s failed 1961 effort to overthrow Fidel Castro.

The administration has recently taken a number of actions to increase pressure on the countries, including new sanctions against companies transporting oil from Venezuela to Cuba. The penalties are meant to punish Cuba for its support of Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, whom the U.S. and other nations say is illegitimately holding on to power.

Trump has also sought to undercut Obama’s historic rapprochement with Cuba, which ended the U.S.’s Cold War-era policy of isolating Havana.

He recently scrapped a deal allowing Cuban baseball players to sign directly with Major League Baseball teams without having to defect. The administration also pulled the vast majority of U.S. Embassy staff from Havana, citing sonic attacks. 

The administration in 2017 considered severing all diplomatic relations with Cuba, before settling on a series of actions that tightened trade and travel restrictions that were loosened by Obama, according to documents obtained by The Hill.