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The Promotion of US Law in Cuba: Some Issues to Consider During the US Presidential Visit


As we know well, the government of the United States wishes that the Cubans who live on the island have the same rights as the citizens of the United States. Therefore, it is desirable and necessary to know some of American laws that could be applied in Cuba. Perhaps it would be interesting and  educational if the North American delegation that accompanies the President of the United States answers three basic questions that foreign and national journalists could investigate further. The three questions are related. The following queries are respectfully presented:


Since the United States Government wishes to promote a civil society in Cuba and democratic rights: Is the United States government ready to explain to the Cuban people the workings of some United States legislation? For example:

The US Code 18 U.S.C.A. § 953 [1948] – better known as the Logan Act reads in part, “Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

Note: In this particular case all that would be necessary is for the Cuban government to replace the phrase “United States” and include “Republic of Cuba.”


The United States Government also has in the law books another piece of legislation that might be very pertinent. That is, the  Internal Security Act of 1950. One could suppose that the government of Cuba could emulate the US legislation and apply it to those persons who – according to US law –could be considered “agents of a foreign power”? Should Cubans who receive financial resources from the US government and its agencies be required – as in the US – to register as an “agent of a foreign power”?  We understand these same issues are addressed in: U.S. Statutes at Large, 81st Cong., II Sess., Chp. 1024, p. 987-1031


If a citizen of Cuba received monetary resources from a foreign government, that person might need to follow the same guidelines that the United States government imposes on its own citizens. Perhaps,  US law could serve Cuba as a precedent and example. In the United States such a person has to report the foreign income to the tax authorities of the United States. The Internal Revenue Service then determines if taxes ought to be paid, how much and when. The US legislation States:

“To qualify for the exemption under U.S. tax law, either the U.S. Department of State must certify that you perform services similar to those performed by employees of the government of the United States in foreign countries and that your foreign government employer grants an equivalent exemption to U.S. government employees performing similar services in its country or you must establish those facts. ” See here.

Nelson P. Valdes is Professor Emeritus at the University of New Mexico.

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