Saturday, June 20, 2009

Justice for Slaves

I was running through my archives, and came across this post about three Cuban workers who were effectively sold into slavery by Cuba to Curacao Drydock Co.. The post then noted that a Florida court had agreed to hear the case against the corporation for its complicity with Cuban human rights violations. I decided to see if anything had happened, and I was gratified to learn that last October the district court announced a judgment for the plaintiffs in an amount totaling $80 million dollars. Licea v. Curacao Drydock Co., Inc., 584 F.Supp.2d 1355 (S.D.Fla. 2008). I don't think the case is freely available, but you can get a good summary from the Cuba Study Group.

We can disagree over what America's Cuba policy should be. But there must be no doubt about the vicious brutality of the Cuban regime, which includes (but is hardly limited to) constructing a slave economy in tandem with heartless multinational corporations. This verdict, in addition to providing justice for the enslaved workers, is a good start in illuminating these practices.

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