PRESS RELEASE 069
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation Expresses Concern over the Helms-Burton Act to the American Authorities
03/04/2019

​The Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation has expressed the concerns of the Spanish Government over a possible full activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, or Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act, of 1996, in his meetings in Washington with both Secretary of State Pompeo and National Security Advisor Bolton, and with congressmen of the United States House of Representatives and the Senate, due to the negative effects the measure would have on the interests of Spain and European partners in Cuba, as well as on bilateral relations between allied countries.
 
Title III of the Helms-Burton Act has been suspended, or waived, for renewable periods of six months on a continued basis since the Act came into force, as part of the understanding reached between the European Union and the United States in 1998.
 
However, on 17 January, the Government of the United States decided to suspend Title III for just 45 days until 4 March, renewing this suspension for a period of just 30 days. Notwithstanding this suspension, an exception was applied, also for the first time, excluding a series of Cuban entities and sub-entities listed on the so-called Cuba Restricted List from this suspension.
 
Minister Josep Borrell highlighted that, like the group of European Union Member States, Spain reiterates its firm rejection, on the basis of principle, for the extraterritorial application of sanctioning national laws, considering it to be contrary to international law.
 
In addition, he stressed that the Spanish Government reaffirms its unequivocal and firm commitment to the defence and promotion of Human Rights, and highlighted the dialogue that the European Union has maintained with Cuba in this regard, within the framework of the current Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, as part of its international commitments.

Minister Borrell also placed value on the many common bonds and interests that unite the peoples of the United States and Spain and Spain’s will to continue strengthening the close ties we enjoy between allied countries.

 

 

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-

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