Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson are urging the administration of President Donald Trump to seek compensation for American property stolen by the Cuban government.
In a letter sent Monday to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Florida senators asked that the issue be considered as the president reviews current U.S. policy with Cuba.
The senators explained the Cuban government had profited for the past 57 years from property that was rightly owned by Americans.
"The U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC) has certified more than 5,900 claims against the Cuban Government for stolen property. These claims — now valued at approximately $8 billion — remain unresolved," the letter stated.
The senators asked the officials "work with Congress to develop a plan and timeline for resolution of these claims, as well as consider instructing the FCSC to conduct a third Cuban Claims Program to allow for potential new claimants."
Last week, it was reported Trump plans to reverse policies enacted by former President Barack Obama towards Cuba. He is expected to make an announcement about the changes in a speech this month in Miami.
John Kavulich, of the nonpartisan U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, said the change would involve "increased enforcement relating to travel." It would reverse Obama's "wet foot, dry foot" policy that allowed Cubans fleeing to the U.S. to remain if they were able to bypass Coast Guard patrols.
Rubio worked in support of that policy change as well, which Kavulich said also would have "a focus upon discouraging transactions with entities controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) of the Republic of Cuba."
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