TRUMP ORDERS MARRIOTT TO STOP HOTEL OPERATIONS IN CUBA

The Trump administration has ordered Marriott International to wind down hotel operations in Cuba, a company spokeswoman told Sarah Marsh of Reuters on Friday (Saturday, June 6, 2020, in Manila), extinguishing what had been a symbol of the US-Cuban detente.


Starwood Hotels, now owned by Marriott, four years ago became the first US hotel company to sign a deal with Cuba since the 1959 revolution amid the Normalization of relations pursued by former President Barack Obama.

But the administration of President Donald Trump has unraveled that detente, tightening the decades-old US trade embargo on Cuba and saying it wants to pressure the island into democratic reform and to stop supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a move meant to woo Cubans in Florida and increase his dwindling chance of winning the state in the November 2020 presidential election.

A company spokeswoman said the US Treasury Department had ordered the company to wind down its operation of the Four Points Sheraton in Havana by August 31. It would also not be allowed to open other hotels it had been preparing to run. “In 2017, Trump promised he would not disrupt existing contracts U.S. businesses had with Cuba,” wrote William Leo Grande, a Cuba expert at American University in Washington, on Twitter. “Promise made, promise broken.”