Emergency Resolution Opposing U.S. Government’s Re-Institution of “Trials for Travel” to Cuba

Photo: Jorge Luis González

Photo: Jorge Luis González

Whereas the last NLG Convention unanimously adopted on October 24, 2015
an Emergency Resolution calling on the US Administration “to cease
impending punitive actions and to instead act consistently for
normalized relations with Cuba”; and

Whereas that resolution specifically called on the U.S. Treasury
Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to “cease all
impending threats and prosecutions of U.S. persons based on their
previous travel to Cuba, including the threatened re-institution of
‘trials for travel’ ” in the greater Washington DC area; and

Whereas, despite this the announced policy of the Administration to
change its policy towards Cuba and to look forward rather than be
imprisoned by the past, OFAC has now begun the process of resuming such
administrative trials which had been abandoned after six years by the
George W. Bush administration. Specifically, on July 26, 2016, OFAC
served a complaint instituting proceedings against Albert Fox, as
President of the Alliance for a Responsible Cuba Policy Policy
Foundation (the Respondent), seeking a penalty of $100,000 for
participating in two short trips to Cuba in 2010 and 2011, and claiming
that the Respondent improperly assisted other U.S. nationals on those
two trips; and

Whereas, for the first time in some ten years, OFAC has recently
appointed an Administrative Law Judge, from the U.S. Coast Guard in
Baltimore, MD, to hear this and possibly other Cuba travel cases; and

Whereas this Respondent has been recognized as a key contributor in
building a significant body of opinion in Florida for normalizing
relations with Cuba, and has also been a critic of continuing to fund
the OFAC office in Miami; and

Whereas OFAC’s recent complaint twice cites the Respondent as being
subject to penalties specifically for “attending meetings with Cuban
officials that were not authorized,” as if the U.S. government has the
right to prevent persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to freely meet and
associate with whomever they please; and

Whereas this action threatens to establish a renewed precedent of
intimidation against individuals and organizations which have broken
from the hard line against Cuba in Florida and elsewhere;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this convention of the National Lawyers
Guild condemns any and all attempts to proceed with trials and penalty
demands against US residents for exercising their right to travel to
Cuba and also to associate with people and officials in Cuba.

The NLG further encourages its members, friends, and all other lawyers
and workers in the legal field to oppose this and any further attempts
at prosecuting US persons for traveling to Cuba or meeting with Cuban
representatives — by assisting in the defense, encouraging other
organizations and firms to do so, and by publicizing this prosecution as
contrary to the best interests of the people of the U.S. and of Cuba,
and contrary to the policy of normalization announced by the
Administration.

Implementation by the NLG Cuba Subcommittee, c/o Art Heitzer, Chair,
artheitzer@gmail.com, (414) 628-2547 or 414 273-1040, ext. 12. 633 W.
Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1410, Milwaukee, WI 53203

Submitted by Art Heitzer, and on behalf of the NLG Cuba Subcommittee.
artheitzer@gmail.com
633 W. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1410
Milwaukee, WI 53203 USA
414-273-1040, ex. 12; fax 414-273-4859

Discover something new.