Today, two senators presented a bill that aims to prohibit the country’s courts to recognize the trademarks of Cuba that were expropriated after the Cuban Revolution.
If approved, this legislation would “protect the rights” of the businessmen who were confiscated by their Fidel Castro government (1959-2008), unless the original owner of the brand had given their express consent, according to the Senators Bob Menéndez, Democrat, and Marco Rubio, Republican. “The expropriation of assets by the Cuban Government is, and will always be a crime,” Menendez defended in a statement, which, like Rubio, is of Cuban origin.
On his account, Rubio considered that “the Cuban communist regime has benefited during 60 years of stolen property that legitimately belong to the Americans.” “This bipartisan bill guarantees that the US courts will not recognize, impose or otherwise validate the trademark rights of companies or assets stolen by the Cuban regime,” the Florida senator said.
At the same time, two members of the lower house, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and John Rutherford, presented complementary legislation. “I am firmly committed to safeguarding the intellectual property rights of US companies to ensure that trademarks are protected against expropriation by any foreign government,” Wasserman-Schultz said.
The announcement of these bills in the Senate and the House of Representatives comes after the government decided earlier this month that Cuban-Americans will be able to sue more than 200 Cuban entities for allegedly benefiting from properties that were expropriated after the Cuban Revolution. That “black list” includes entities that are “under the control or act on behalf of” Cuban intelligence, the Armed Forces or security forces, according to the State Department.
In the list, updated for the last time in November 2018, there are 205 entities that range from institutions such as the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces to the Cuban chain of Gaviota tourist establishments and establishments of that group, such as the Meliá Marina Varadero.