Trump will allow Americans to sue companies in Cuba

Trump will allow Americans to sue companies in Cuba
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida 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 BoltonJohn BoltonJohn Kelly called Trump 'the most flawed person' he's ever met: report Bolton: North Korea 'more dangerous now' Demand for Trump-related titles sparks expected record year for political books MORE 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 Clinton'Democrat-run cities' fuel the economy, keep many red states afloat Late-night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study A closing argument: Why voters cannot trust Trump on healthcare MORE, George W. Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama to campaign for Biden in Florida Jaime Harrison on Lindsey Graham postponing debate: 'He's on the verge of getting that one-way ticket back home' Quinnipiac poll reports Biden leading Trump by 8 points in Pennsylvania 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.