Dow Jones Business News -- July 22, 1996

U.S. Seeks U.N. Security Council Condemnation Of Cuba

AP-Dow Jones News Service

UNITED NATIONS -- The United States urged the Security Council on Monday to condemn Cuba's downing of two planes of a U.S.-based exile group, but appeared unlikely to win a denunciation of Fidel Castro's government, reports The Associated Press.

Saying they had violated Cuban airspace, Cuba shot down two unarmed planes of the group Brothers to the Rescue on Feb. 24, killing all four people aboard.

The U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization said the planes had been over international waters.

The Security Council discussed the U.S.' request for a reprimand on Monday, with U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright telling reporters that the U.S. considered it important 'that Cuba accepts responsibility for what happened.'

But she acknowledged that Cuba 'is an issue that faces some difficulty within the United Nations.' Many members believe the U.S. should do more to prevent overflights of Cuban territory by anti-Castro exiles based in south Florida.

European diplomats, speaking on condition they not be identified by name or nationality, said council members would likely issue a general condemnation of shooting down unarmed planes, but not specifically criticize the Castro government.

American allies are upset over the U.S. Helms-Burton Law, which allows lawsuits to be filed in U.S. courts against foreign firms that own or operate properties of U.S. citizens that Cuba nationalized after its 1959 revolution.

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