Lawyers wrangle over “illegal trafficking” of property

Lawyers for a Jacksonville family whose businesses were confiscated in Cuba before the revolution urged a federal judge today not to dismiss their lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Lines. Javier Garcia-Bengochea, a Jacksonville neurosurgeon, sued the cruise company on May 2, saying it was “illegally trafficking” in the waterfront properties that his family owned in Santiago … Read more

One-two punch against Expedia

On June 18, a Florida family sued trivago, a German travel services company, for “unlawful trafficking” in a hotel they owned before the Cuban revolution. The family of Antonio Mata y Alvarez says trivago, which is spelled with a lowercase t, benefited from the Hotel San Carlos in Cienfuegos and “scores of properties like it.” … Read more

Inspector General: Cuba sanctions tough enough?

The Office of Inspector General at the Treasury Department this year plans to investigate how well the Office of Foreign Asset Control, or OFAC, is enforcing Trump administration sanctions against Cuba. The OIG reported: Since 1960, the United States has maintained an embargo restricting trade, travel, and financial transactions with Cuba. This embargo comprises the … Read more

OFAC takes more aggressive approach

U.S. authorities are taking an “increasingly aggressive posture” against companies that violate economic sanctions, lawyer Jeremy Paner says. Paner, a former official at the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, says federal authorities used to avoid issuing penalties to encourage voluntary compliance. But now OFAC is hitting companies with big fines even when they … Read more

Flashback: Beyoncé and Jay-Z in Havana

Jay-Z and Beyoncé drew criticism after celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary in Cuba in 2013. The Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General investigated and found that they hadn’t broken the law. Their trip was legal under U.S. regulations allowing people-to-people educational travel. The Trump administration eliminated people-to-people travel by individuals and made it illegal to … Read more