I propose to take Questions Nos. 20, 23, 26, 62 and 67 together.
The Government wishes to see an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed against Cuba. We are working to that end in concert with our EU partners. On 5 November 1997 Ireland with all our European Union partners voted in the United Nations General Assembly in favour of a resolution which called for an end to the embargo. The General Assembly adopted the resolution with 143 votes in favour, three against and 17 abstentions. The US Administration has been made fully aware of Ireland's concerns and that of our EU partners about the embargo and its extra-territorial effects.
The Government, accordingly, welcomes the statement by President Clinton on 20 March which announced a number of openings in US contacts with Cuba. These are primarily of a humanitarian nature. President Clinton has made it clear that these measures are a response to the outcome of the Pope's visit to Cuba.
The openings include moves to streamline and expedite the sale of medicines to Cuba by instituting new procedures that will facilitate more rapid processing of requests for licences for the export of medicines. The US Government will also resume licensing humanitarian cargo and passenger charter flights to Cuba. New licensing procedures will be instituted to allow for humanitarian remittances from US residents to their relatives in Cuba.
On the question put by Deputy Barnes, Ireland applies no trade sanctions against Cuba. The Helms-Burton Act, which was signed into US law on 12 March 1996, allows the US to take extra-territorial measures against companies or individuals trafficking in expropriated property from Cuba. Following inquiries carried out by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, it appears that no Irish company has been directly affected by this legislation. President Clinton has continued to exercise his power to suspend certain aspects of the Helms-Burton Act, in particular Title III, which provides for US nationals to file suit against persons trafficking in expropriated property.