The law firm of Harper Meyer Perez Hagen O’Connor Albert & Dribin LLP is well positioned to assist those of its many U.S. and multi-national clients who are contemplating opportunities in Cuba resulting from the diplomatic and economic changes in the Cuban Assets Control Regulations announced by President Obama on December 17, 2014 and implemented by the U.S. Departments of Treasury and Commerce on January 16, 2015.
The new measures are designed to facilitate travel to Cuba for authorized purposes, allow U.S. financial institutions to open correspondent accounts at Cuban financial institutions, and allow a number of other activities related to, among other areas, telecommunications, financial services, trade, and shipping.
U.S. persons must comply with all provisions of the revised regulations, and violations of the terms and conditions could result in penalties under U.S. law. “We are advising our clients to be very careful not to violate any U.S. laws and regulations as they contemplate possible future business in Cuba,” says George Harper, Founding Partner of Harper Meyer, who along with several other firm members traveled recently to Havana for a first-hand look at the potential ramifications of the new regulations. While in Cuba the Harper Meyer team met with government officials, private and government lawyers, and dissidents. “As of now,” continued Harper, “the Cuban Democracy Act and the Helms-Burton Act remain unchanged, and no one contemplating doing business there should do so without the proper authorization. We are ready on short notice to advise our clients when the time to invest in, or to trade with, Cuba, is proper.”
It is not yet clear what effect, if any, the changes might also have on the status of the claims of U.S. persons for losses suffered in Cuba and previously adjudicated by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission. Harper Meyer will stay current on developments in this area, and will be prepared to assist certified claimants when the time arrives.