Amazon, Everyone’s Favorite Online Store Being Sued Under Helms-Burton

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Amazon, the online shopping giant and everyone’s favorite online store, has been added to the list of American businesses being sued under the Helms-Burton law.

Yet another Cuban-American, Daniel Gonzalez, has filed a case on Thursday with the Miami-based Cueto Law Group. He’s suing everybody’s favorite online store, Amazon, and FOGO, the U.S. charcoal brand.

Gonzalez’s claim comes just one day after American Airlines and Chilean carrier LATAM were also targeted under the law by José Ramón López Regueiro, who thinks he owns the José Martí International Airport in Havana.

The property at the center of the latest lawsuit is a 2,000-acre plot of land in Eastern Cuba. The land is allegedly being used by Miami-based company FOGO Charcoal, which is also listed as a defendant. Amazon sold the charcoal on its website, and, according to Gonzalez is “trafficking in the property.”

Gonzalez, the plaintiff, is the grandson of the original owner, Manuel Gonzalez Rodriguez who purchased the land in 1941. The property was nationalized after the Cuban government passed the Agrarian Reform Act nationalizing private farms. Apparently, the government seized the family property and gave notice to them to vacate in seven days, according to Gonzalez.

Commercial exports of marabu charcoal from Cuba to the U.S. began with a historical agreement reached on January 5, 2017, between the Coabana Trading Company and Cuba Export. It was a new step in the US-Cuba evolving relationship after former President Barack Obama passed measures easing the embargo. The export of 40 tons of marabou coal under the brand name Fogo became the first legal Cuban export to the U.S.

According to an article in the Miami Herald, Cuba exports between 40,000 and 80,000 pounds of Marabu charcoal to half a dozen countries, including the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany.

Gonzalez claims that the Cuban government offered no compensation for the nationalization of land and, apparently, gave González’s family seven days to leave the property. This is, in fact, not true. All attempts by Cuba to compensate U.S. business and Americans who owned property were blocked by the U.S. government.

Unfortunately, the charcoal is no longer for sale on the Amazon website.

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