Trump Administration pulls plug on Marriott’s Havana Sheraton

Government officials declined to renew Marriott’s license to operate in Cuba

TRD New York TRD WEEKEND EDITION /
Jun.June 13, 2020 12:00 PM
Marriott CEO Arne M. Sorenson. President Donald Trump and Marriott Four Points in Havana (Getty)

Marriott CEO Arne M. Sorenson. President Donald Trump and Marriott Four Points in Havana (Getty)

The Trump Administration is putting an end to Marriott International’s business in Cuba.

Administration officials told the hospitality giant that it would not renew its license to operate the Sheraton Four Points hotel in Havana, according to the Miami Herald.

The Sheraton Four Points reopened under Marriott’s brand in 2016 during the Obama Administration and was the first and only hotel in Cuba run by an American company since Fidel Castro’s Communist government took power in 1959.

The Sheraton’s reopening became somewhat of a symbol of the Cuba-U.S. rapprochement during Obama’s years in office. Trump has also banned ship cruises and limited flights and remittances to Cuba that were allowed by his predecessor.

The Sheraton hotel deal has long been criticized because the hotel property is owned by Gaviota, a company linked to the Cuban military, according to the Herald.

The Trump Adminstration’s reversal of policy in Cuba stopped other hotel deals in their tracks in 2017, including Starwood’s planned deal to take over three hotels in the country.

Last year the Administration also allowed Americans to sue Cuban companies that own property previously seized by the Cuban government.

Exxon Mobil was the first to take that opportunity, suing two Cuban military-linked companies that took over an oil refinery in 1960 after the Cuban government confiscated it from Exxon. [Miami Herald] — Dennis Lynch


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