The European Union warned Friday that it will freeze U.S. assets and impose visa requirements on Americans if European companies are penalized for investing in Cuba.
While European nations, Canada, Mexico and others have complained about the Helms-Burton law since its passage on March 12, criticism intensified this week after the U.S. government applied the legislation for the first time.
The State Department warned nine executives of the Canadian mining company Sherritt International that they and their families will be barred from the United States unless the company divests from Cuba.
In a diplomatic note sent to Washington this week and a personal letter to Clinton on Thursday, the 15-nation EU warned of possible retaliation if any EU firms are targeted. Both statements were made public Friday.