Photo: Jose M. Correa

During a press conference in Havana, yesterday August 1, Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno described the second informative meeting between Cuba and the U.S. held in Washington, July 28, to discuss compensation claims by both parties.

Talks on mutual compensation, as part of the process of normalization of relations between the two countries, are currently in their initial stage, and of a highly complicated nature, technically and legally, explained Moreno, who led Cuba's delegation to the meeting.

He recalled that since the very first nationalizations laws were established, after the triumph of the Revolution, Cuba has always been willing to compensate foreign individuals and companies affected.

Moreno noted that agreements regarding nationalized property were reached with Canada and five European countries some time ago. Plans with the United States for compensation included a defined time frame, but the actions of the U.S. government prevented their realization.

He clarified that the July 28 meeting involved an exchange of information, specifically on the two countries' legal frameworks, giving continuity to a first meeting on the issue held in Havana in December of 2015.

No decision has been made regarding actual negotiations on compensation, but the exchange of information will continue over coming months, Moreno said.

He noted that many elements are involved in this discussion, most importantly the U.S. blockade which remains in full force. Cuba's claims, originally presented in 1999 and 2000, are based on rulings made by Cuban courts placing the value of material and human damages caused by the blockade at 300 billion dollars.

Washington's claims, Moreno reported, were established by the Justice Department's Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC).