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America's Cuban Conundrum

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America’s Cuban Conundrum
1. Analyze the key issue that prompted the EU to take the Helms-Burton dispute to the WTO The 1963 U.S. embargo was reinforced in October 1992 by the Cuban Democracy Act (the "Torricelli Law") and in 1996 by the Cuban Liberty and Democracy Solidarity Act (known as the Helms-Burton Act) which penalizes foreign companies that do business in Cuba by preventing them from doing business in the U.S. Justification provided for these restrictions was that these companies were trafficking in stolen U.S. properties, and should, thus, be excluded from the United States (Longmire, 2009). According to the Department of State (2000), Helms-Burton Act is the latest incarnation of U.S. efforts to internationalize it embargo of Cuba. Both the 1992 Cuba Democracy Act and Helms-Burton target foreign investment in Cuba, seeking to undermine Cuba’s international access to capital. The European Union (EU), Canada and Mexico have taken steps to challenge the law in the WTO and under NAFTA, seeking the nullification of the law on the grounds that it violates international trade law. The EU resented the Helms Burton Act because it felt that the US was dictating how other nations ought to conduct their trade and challenged it on that basis. The EU eventually dropped its challenge in favor of negotiating a solution. Many nations have enacted antidote legislation that bars their nationals from complying with Helms-Burton, under the threat of fines. They also argue that Helms-Burton violates international trade laws and norms by trespassing on the sovereignty of third countries. These countries regularly refer to the provisions of Helms-Burton that threaten their nationals as "extra-territorial." They also believe that their trade relationships with Cuba are a matter in which the United States has no right to interfere. Indeed, to many observers, the United…...

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