Few countries match the expropriatory model of revolutionary Cuba. Described by one scholar as the “largest uncompensated taking of American property by a foreign government in history,” the expropriations touched virtually every industry on the island. The nearly 6,000 claims filed in the United States were valued by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission as of 1972 at US$1.9 billion.
Even as the debates concerning restitution for the Twentieth Century expropriations continue almost two decades into the subsequent century, a new wave of U.S. investment has begun to flow into Cuba following President Barack Obama’s executive actions to encourage more commerce between the two countries. Though the Congressionally-enacted Embargo remains a serious barrier to investment and trade, and will likely remain so well into the near future, U.S. companies are increasingly present on the island to “lay the groundwork” for future investments.