Cuba, US discuss economic compensation

Havana, Jan 13 (IANS) Cuba and the US have discussed mutual economic compensation for American assets seized during the Cuban revolution and for the damage caused by the US embargo on the island.

Two previous meetings proved fruitless here in December 2015 and in Washington in July 2016, Xinhua news agency reported.

The two sides on Thursday said they would seek to advance discussions made during the previous summits and refine technical details and methodologies for the reclamations.

Economic compensations are among the thorniest issues amid a difficult process aimed at normalising ties after over half a century of political enmity.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez in September 2016 said the total cost of the embargo had been of $125.9 billion.

Washington said around 6,000 American people and companies have reclamations on Cuba with a total value of $1.9 billion, after the Castro government nationalised their assets, beginning in 1959.

However, these demands have been adjusted to current prices to reach almost $8 billion, including an annual interest rate of six per cent.

A Cuban law passed in 1996 said these reclamations could only be negotiated alongside Havana’s demand for reparations due to the embargo.