. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Envoy to Face EU Opposition on Anti-Cuba Law

BRUSSELS -- A special U.S. envoy given the task of selling Washington's anti-Cuba legislation to the rest of the world faces stiff resistance when he meets EU officials in Brussels this week.


European Union officials said Stuart Eizenstat was unlikely to win any support from a 15-nation bloc already pondering countermeasures.


Eizenstat, appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton last month, is due to meet EU Trade Commissioner Leon Brittan on Tuesday on the first leg of a round-the-world swing aimed at explaining Washington's controversial Helms-Burton Act.


He will also meet European Commissioners Manuel Marin and Emma Bonino -- responsible for Latin American affairs and the EU's humanitarian affairs office respectively -- suggesting the bloc's executive is treating his visit very seriously.


The Helms-Burton Act was passed in July to a chorus of indignant opposition from many of Washington's strongest allies. Among other things, the act allows American citizens to sue in U.S. courts foreign companies that have benefitted from investments made in property confiscated by Havana since the Cuban revolution of 1959.


The EU has already outlined what form its measures to counter the laws are likely to take. The measures would: forbid EU individuals or companies to comply with any U.S. court action; allow them to counter-sue to recover any damages awarded; prohibit individuals from litigant U.S. companies from travelling to the EU; and compile a "watch list" of American companies or individuals involved in any litigation.