The seizure of US property: Cuba and Cyprus

Ever since the United States became an empire after the Spanish-American War in 1898, US companies and US citizens have been acquiring property and interests in foreign countries, particularly in Central and South America. Nationalist and socialist governments gradually took power in these countries. For ideological and economic reasons, these governments viewed the US ownership of property in their countries as counter to the national interest. They forcibly took possession of the property of US nationals without adequate compensation. In legal terms, these acts are referred to as expropriation.

The most significant expropriation for the US occurred in Cuba. Fidel Castro took power in Cuba in 1959. Relations between the two countries deteriorated. In 1961, Castro expropriated US-owned property in Cuba as well as property owned by Cubans. In response, the Eisenhower and...

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