DS: United States — The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act

This summary has been prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility. The summary is for general information only and is not intended to affect the rights and obligations of Members.


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Summary of the dispute to date

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Complaint by the European Communities.

On 3 May 1996 the European Communities requested consultations with the United States concerning the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 and other legislation enacted by the US Congress regarding trade sanctions against Cuba. The EC claims that US trade restrictions on goods of Cuban origin, as well as the possible refusal of visas and the exclusion of non-US nationals from US territory, are inconsistent with the US obligations under the WTO Agreement. Violations of GATT Articles I, III, V, XI and XIII, and GATS Articles I, III, VI, XVI and XVII are alleged. The EC also alleges that even if these measures by the US may not be in violation of specific provisions of GATT or GATS, they nevertheless nullify or impair its expected benefits under GATT 1994 and GATS and impede the attainment of the objectives of GATT 1994. The European Communities requested the establishment of a panel on 3 October 1996.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

The DSB established a panel at its meeting on 20 November 1996. On 25 April 1997, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that, at the request of the European Communities, the panel had suspended its work.



The Panel’s authority lapsed on 22 April 1998, pursuant to Article 12.12 of the DSU.


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