Families Fight for Compensation From Cuban Government
By Willard Shepard
Updated at 6:52 PM EDT on Monday, Jul 20, 2015
Cuban-Americans whose families lost everything when the Castro regime
took control are hoping that with renewed relations between the United
States and Cuba there may be a possibility of getting some kind of
Nick Gutierrez still has pictures of his father on the family ranch in
Cuba a few years before Castro came to power. The photos captured loved
ones in a time when the ranch, their other lands, retail buildings, and
their home was all in their name.
“Many of us have followed this issue closely, we have have gotten the
families together and organized, we have compiled documentation on
exactly what was taken from us and we intend to pursue this,” Gutierrez
Miami real estate attorney Sophia Powell-Cosio is also hoping to reclaim
her family’s property.
“With renewed relations there may be some possibility of getting some
kind of compensation,” she said. “When the Castro regime came in they
basically confiscated all of my family’s properties.”
Powell-Cosio’s family is in the strongest position to get something
back. Her grandmother was a U.S. citizen living in Cuba at the time
Castro took over. Her family is one of 5,913 who have official property
claims filed. Theirs was made in the 1960’s.
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“I really do not expect to get any of the property back, I don’t think
that’s feasible or viable but historically with other countries there
has been some form of compensations that’s been paid,” she said. “I
think more it’s the emotional, the raw emotional aspect of it and that
is just never going to go away.”
The federal law that keeps the embargo against Cuba in place says it
can’t be lifted until the Cuban government has taken “appropriate steps
to return to the United States citizens property taken by the Cuban
Government…or equitable compensation to such citizens.”
Gutierrez was asked if he thinks the families will ever actually see the
true value of their properties.
“I would think they would be pressing the representatives in Congress to
say ‘wait, we won’t be agreeing to settle this at pennies on the
dollar,” he said.
Powell-Cosio said there is no amount of money that could ever take back
what happened over the last 50 years and she’s not happy about a list of
other things she believes the Cuban government isn’t close to changing.
Gutierrez said there’s about $8 billion in claims that have been filed.
Published at 6:39 PM EDT on Jul 20, 2015
Source: Families Fight for Compensation From Cuban Government | NBC 6
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