The Supreme Court: Contested Cargo

With one sweeping decree on Aug. 6, 1960, Fidel Castro expropriated Cuban enterprises that were wholly or largely owned by U.S. citizens. On that very day, in the port of Santa Maria, a ship was being loaded with sugar that had been produced by one of the expropriated companies, Compania Azucarera de Vertientes-Camaguey de Cuba, otherwise known as C.A.V. That white cargo set off on a four-year cruise through the U.S. courts.

At the time of the expropriation decree, the sugar had already been sold to a U.S. commodity broker, Farr, Whitlock & Co., but C.A.V. had not yet received...

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