The Trump administration has ordered Marriott International to close its Four Points by Sheraton hotel operations in Cuba by August 31. The hotel company has been warned the government license will not be renewed. In addition, Marriott will not be permitted to open the other hotels the company had been renovating.
Four years ago, Starwood Hotels, now owned by Marriott, became the first American hotel corporation to sign a hotel deal with Cuba. The Starwood contract with the Cuban government also included the renovation and management of two other hotels, the Hotel Inglaterra and the Santa Isabel in Havana.
However the Trump administration has reversed all advancement of US-Cuba relations made by the previous Obama government in its attempts to force regime change and end Cuban support of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Trump’s latest maneuver is an attempt to boost voter numbers in Florida after his disastrous election year performance which includes the mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in over 110,000 deaths, record numbers of unemployment and more than a week of violent protests over the racially motivated murder of George Floyd by a police officer.
The ultimatum to Marriott comes just two days after the US State Department added to the list of Cuban entities of which Americans are forbidden from doing business. The updated list includes Fincimex, the corporation that processes remittances to Cuba.
US sanctions have further deepened the economic crisis in Cuba.