U.S. meets with Cuba Thursday for claims discussion

The United States and Cuba will meet Thursday for the third government-to-government meeting on claims in Havana.

According to the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. delegation will be led by Brian Egan, USDS legal adviser. The meeting will allow the delegations to build upon previous discussions in Havana and Washington, D.C., and exchange views on technical details and methodologies regarding outstanding claims.

Outstanding U.S. claims include claims of U.S. nationals that were certified by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, claims related to unsatisfied U.S. court judgments against Cuba and claims held by the United States government. The United States continues to view the resolution of these claims as a top priority.

Under 22 U.S.C. § 1623(a)(1)(C), the Commission has authority to adjudicate claims of U.S. nationals against a foreign government that are included in a category of claims referred to it by the Secretary of State.  On Oct. 7, 2014, the legal adviser of the U.S. Department of State referred to the Commission for adjudication three categories of claims within the scope of the Claims Settlement Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Iraq(“CSA”), signed on Sept. 2, 2010.

The categories are as follows:

Category A: This category shall consist of claims by U.S. nationals for hostage-taking by Iraq in violation of international law prior to Oct. 7, 2004, provided that the claimant was not a plaintiff in pending litigation against Iraq for hostage taking at the time of the entry into force of the Claims Settlement Agreement and has not received compensation under the Claims Settlement Agreement from the U.S. Department of State.

Category B: This category shall consist of claims of U.S. nationals for death while being held hostage by Iraq in violation of international law prior to Oct. 7, 2004.

Category C: This category shall consist of claims of U.S. nationals for any personal injury resulting from physical harm to the claimant caused by Iraq in violation of international law prior to Oct. 7, 2004, provided that the claimant: 1) had pending litigation against Iraq arising out of acts other than hostage taking; 2) has not already been compensated pursuant to the Claims Settlement Agreement; and 3) does not have a valid claim under and has not received compensation pursuant to Category B of this referral.

On Oct. 23, 2014, the Commission published notice in the Federal Register announcing the commencement of adjudication of claims under this program.  Notice of Commencement of Claims Adjudication Program, 79 Fed. Reg. 63,439 (Oct. 23, 2014).  The Commission has set a deadline of Oct. 23, 2015, for the filing of claims. Anyone with a claim falling within the above described categories may submit a Statement of Claim along with any documents or other evidence which supports his or her claim.