Hope for owners of Cuban businesses seeking reappropriation – AC&G Asesores Legales

Spanish clients trying to recover family businesses that were nationalised in Cuba during the 1960s have good reason to hope they may soon have an opportunity to so, according to Guillermo Gastón, partner, and director of the equity and corporate law department, at AC&G Asesores Legales.

“Right now, they [clients] are naturally excited at the prospect of resolving business claims against Cuba, as many of these families still formally own active industries that the government intervened in ,” he says. “Understandably, they’re keen to know if there are any legal options in place to reappropriate their businesses.”
Gastón says that the links from Cuba to Spain are still very much intact, with a basic but durable legal structure, so there is a possibility that nationalised businesses could be returned to private owners. “Despite hundreds of modifications, Cuba still has the same corporate and commercial code that was approved in the nineteenth century when it was part of Spain,” he adds. “However, without any private companies in the country, this law has not been applied since the 1960s.”
When asked when Cuban business owners may expect this issue to be resolved, lawyers are saying it very much depends on whether Cuba makes a smooth legal transition. “Understandably, clients come to us very excited as they have suffered what they feel is a great injustice for a long time,” explains Gastón. “Unfortunately, from a legal point of view nothing much has changed in Cuba and, such is the complexity of the political situation, the Cuban government have a long way to go before they can get to an arrangement or an agreement to compensate business owners from a long time ago.”
Gastón adds: “There is definitely will on the Cuban government’s side – the current situation is good.”