Two Cuban businessmen sued Carnival Cruise Lines Thursday, marking the first-ever lawsuit under a new Trump administration policy that allows Cubans to claim compensation for property seized by their communist government.
The Miami Herald reports that for years, U.S. presidents have refused to allow citizens to make property claims under the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, in an attempt to maintain positive relations with Havana.
But Trump took a different tack last month, and allowed U.S. citizens and naturalized Cubans to make claims for their lost assets.
That includes Mickael Behn and Javier Garcia-Bengochea, who now both have claims certified by the federal government for buildings and docks that were seized right after the Cuban Revolution, and that Carnival has been using when docking on the island nation. The claims have been valued at millions of dollars—although the amount sought by the lawsuits is unclear.
Carnival didn’t respond to the Herald’s request for comment, but the company’s lawyer told El Nuevo Herald that the suits had no chance of succeeding.
“It was not the intention of the Helms-Burton law to go against companies Americans with legal business in Cuba,” he said. “They can try it, but I’ve been here for 40 years, and I tell them: good luck.”