MIAMI – Miami U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom on Friday ruled that four Florida-based cruise lines must pay more than $400 million in damages for use of Cuba port.
The damages will need to be paid to the American company that had the concession to some of the port piers in Havana that had been unlawfully expropriated by Fidel Castro in 1960, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
The Miami newspaper said it’s the first ruling under a law that punishes ‘”trafficking in stolen property” in Cuba.
Back in March, Judge Bloom ruled that several cruise companies, with ties to South Florida, traveled to Cuba taking part in “prohibited tourism” by carrying passengers to the island nation and profiting from the use of the port facilities in Havana.
According to court documents, Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and MSC SA earned at least $1 billion in doing so, according to The Miami Herald.
Judge Bloom sided with Havana Docks, a company that held a concession to operate the Port of Havana. She ruled that by using the terminal, or one of its piers, the cruise lines “committed trafficking acts.”
The company filed lawsuits against the four cruise lines for their use of the Port of Havana between 2015 and 2019, when cruise travel to Cuba was authorized.
The ruling is expected to be appealed by the cruise lines.
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