Helms Wants Proof That U.S. Enforces Cuba Property Law

Sen. Jesse Helms is asking the Clinton administration to prove it is enforcing a law denying visas to officials of foreign firms dealing with U.S. property confiscated in Cuba.

Helms on Thursday released an Aug. 14 letter from President Clinton pledging enforcement of that provision of the Helms-Burton law aimed at increasing pressure on Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Earlier, Clinton renewed suspension of another provision of the law that would have given U.S. citizens the right to sue foreign firms in Cuba. The law has brought strong protests from U.S. allies whose citizens deal with Cuba.

Clinton, in the letter to Helms, said the suspension was based on “continued efforts of our partners to promote a peaceful democratic transition in Cuba.”

In an Oct. 3 letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright also released Thursday, Helms said he sees no evidence of such cooperation.

“Madame Secretary, that’s news to me,” said the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman.

Helms, R-N.C., demanded memos, cables, minutes, e-mails, faxes and all other documents relating to pending investigations of official or stockholders of foreign corporations dealing with U.S. property in Cuba.

He also wants documents on other governments related to their Cuban policies and a list of State Department personnel working on the issue.

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