UC Law SF International Law Review


David Kaye


The Helms-Burton Act provides a right of action for U.S. nationals with Cuban property claims against those who "traffic" in such property. This Articles addresses whether Title III of the Act is consistent with principles of extraterritorial jurisdiction under international law.

Mr. Kaye describes the Cuban government's failure to abide by international law during its property confiscations in the period from 1959-61, and explains the Act's provisions to tailor a remedy for Cuban property claimants. In contrast to an OASIAJC opinion regarding Helms-Burton, Title III is consistent with international and domestic law on espousal, continuous nationality, the nature of claims against traffickers in confiscated property, and personal jurisdiction. Because such traffickers make future restitution for confiscated property difficult, Title III is a well-crafted means for Cuban property claimants to obtain a remedy in federal courts.