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Cuba-Related Lawsuits Against Cruise Lines Thrown Out

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A pair of lawsuits against Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and MSC Cruises have been thrown out of federal court in Miami after they were accused of utilizing property in Cuba that was confiscated illegally during the island’s revolution.

According to the Miami Herald, the lawsuits were filed after Carnival Corporation was sued in a sperate case for sailing to the Havana cruise terminal, which the previous owners claim was taken by Fidel Castro and his regime during the government takeover in the 1950s.

Havana Docks Corp. filed the lawsuits against both Norwegian and MSC Cruises under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, known as the LIBERTAD Act, claiming the companies trafficked people and supplies to Cuba through the illegally obtained port.

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United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida Judge Beth Bloom ruled in favor of the cruise lines, saying the plaintiff’s claim to the property expired in 2004, which was long before Norwegian and MSC Cruises starting visiting the Cuban terminal in 2017.

As part of Judge Bloom’s decision, Havana Docks Corp. will not be able to file another lawsuit based on the same grounds. The resolution also set a precedent for the defendants in the first lawsuit, Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., to attempt to have their cases thrown out as well.

If the plaintiff appeals the lawsuits, they will be heard by a three-judge panel in the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

“We believe that we operated within the approved government process regarding Cuba,” Carnival Corp. spokesperson Roger Frizzell told the Miami Herald. “We look forward to proving the merits of our case.”

In a similar case, a Cuban-American man filed a lawsuit in 2019 claiming to be the rightful owner of Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport, saying it was confiscated from his family during Castro’s 1959 revolution.

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