The United States is poised to announce new punitive measures against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, Reuters reported, citing a source in the administration. The source explained that what concerns Cuba is that these measures, in particular, will allow lawsuits against foreign companies that have benefited from Cuba's seizure of American companies after the 1959 revolution.
The move is set to be introduced under the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, which gave Washington the right to sue companies profiting from properties that Cuba confiscated. However, every US president since Bill Clinton has postponed the key clause because of fears it could hinder relations with Cuba and alienate America's allies.
Thus, the foreseen move indicates a significant shift in US policy towards Cuba, especially after former US President Barack Obama's efforts to normalise relations with Havana after more than 50 years of non-engagement. Both sides have reopened embassies in their respective capitals and have signed dozens of cooperation agreements.
According to the AP news agency, the move is set to be implemented as a retaliatory measure for Cuba's support of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whom Washington is pressuring to remove from power in favour of opposition leader Juan Guaido.
The official noted, as quoted by Reuters, this new policy will be revealed by US National Security Adviser John Bolton during a speech in Miami on Wednesday.