What Happened: ExxonMobil has sued Cuban state energy company Union Cuba-Petroleo (Cupet) and Cuban state import-export corporation Cimex for their use of property seized from the U.S. oil giant's predecessor Standard Oil, The Wall Street Journal reported May 3.
Why It Matters: The lawsuit risks complicating Cupet and Cimex’s business activities with other foreign companies, such as those from Europe or Canada, for fear that they too could be sued. A long-running court battle also risks hindering U.S. companies' ability to do business with both Cuban companies, should a change of government in Havana open up relations with Washington down the line.
Background: In January, the White House announced it would lift a long-standing prohibition on suing foreign companies for ownership of property seized from U.S. companies after the 1959 Cuban revolution.
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