P and E Shipping Corporation v Banco Para el Comercio Exterior de Cuba [United States, District Court of Puerto Rico.]

JurisdicciónPuerto Rico
EmisorTribunal de Distrito (US)
United States, District Court of Puerto Rico.
P. & E. Shipping Corp.
and
Banco Para el Comercio Exterior de Cuba.

States as international persons Recognition Of Governments Standing to sue in courts of United States of recognized Government or its instrumentality when diplomatic relations have been broken off The law of the United States of America.

The Facts.Previous proceedings in this case are reported in International Law Reports, 33, p. 41. The Ruth Ann, a Liberian flag ship owned by the respondent (the P. & E. Shipping Corporation), a Liberian corporation, carried a cargo of foodstuffs from United States and Canadian ports for delivery to the libellant, the Banco Para el Comercio Exterior de Cuba (hereinafter sometimes called the Bank), an agent or instrumentality of the Cuban Government, in Havana, Cuba. Before arrival of the Ruth Ann in Havana, the United States proclaimed a general embargo on the export of merchandise (except food and medicine) to Cuba. After the vessel left port, the owner's agent requested the Bank and others to put up a bond to guarantee the return of the vessel and crew from Cuba. The Bank refused. The vessel sailed to Puerto Rico and unloaded a portion of its cargo there. It took no steps to deliver the balance to Cuba. The Bank thereupon brought a libel in rem against the vessel while it was in Puerto Rico and a libel in personam against the respondent corporation.

In the District Court, the respondent contended that the deviation from the route was permitted under the bill of lading, which allowed discharge of the goods elsewhere if the port of destination presented dangers to the ship and its cargo. The District Court (192 F.Supp. 607 (D. Puerto Rico 1961)) held for the libellant, sub nom. Banco Para el Comer do Exterior de Cuba v. The Ruth Ann. No issues relating to standing to sue were raised before the District Court.

On appeal, the respondent contended that the libellant had no standing to sue in United States courts since it was the agent of a Government with which the United States had broken off diplomatic relations. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reported in International Law Reports, 33, p. 41.

On remand,

Held (by the District Court, sub nomBanco Para el Comercio Exterior de Cuba v. The Steamship Ruth Ann): that the Bank, an entity of the Cuban Government, was not barred from access to the federal courts.

The Court said:

[228 F.Supp. 502] Pursuant to the said opinion of the Court of Appeals, this...

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