Update on the Helms-Burton Act and Canadians doing business in Cuba

On April 17, 2019 the United States government announced that it will implement Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (also known as the Helms-Burton Act). The U.S. also indicated on the same day that it will be taking action regarding the application of Title IV of this legislation.

The application of Titles III and IV may have implications for Canadian companies active in the Cuban market.

We encourage Canadian companies and investors in Cuba to familiarize themselves with the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act. Canadians with business ties to Cuba should also conduct their own due diligence regarding legal risks, including seeking legal counsel to assess their particular situation, as appropriate.

As stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, amendments in 1996 to Canada’s Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act (FEMA) stipulate that any judgment issued under the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 shall neither be recognized nor enforceable in any manner in Canada. FEMA also allows for Canadians to apply to the Attorney General of Canada to recover amounts that have been obtained against them under a Helms-Burton judgment, including expenses, losses or damages incurred.

For additional information see: