Once again, the mean-spirited administration of US President Donald Trump has reared its ugly head against the people of Cuba.
While no other country, on the planet, has any ill feeling toward Cuba … the US has now banned the CEO of Spain’s Melia Hotel International, one of Europe’s largest hotel companies, from entering the US because it does business with the Caribbean island nation.
The move appears to be an escalation of sanctions by the Trump administration against Havana, CGTN.com reported.
The administration says it is enforcing decades-old legislation known as the Helms-Burton Act, which denies US entry to those who have benefited from property confiscated in Cuba in the early years of the Fidel Castro-led Revolution, the report said.
In statements to CGTN, Alberto Navarro, the EU ambassador in Havana said, “This notification issued against Melia’s top executives banning them from entering the US is absolutely rejectable,” adding that “all Spanish and European business people, who are working on legitimate trade and investment projects in Cuba, will have the full protection of the European Union by all possible means.”
Meanwhile, the Spanish hotel chain insists it doesn’t own any assets on the island, the report said. Instead, the company says it only manages hotels owned by Cuba.
Melia has operated in the Caribbean island nation for the past 30 years by managing an increasing number of hotels, amounting to 39 at present. Despite threats from Trump, Melia says it will continue to serve the Cuban market, as per usual.
Last year, a Spanish court dismissed an US$11 million lawsuit filed by a Cuban American family against Melia for operating two hotels in eastern Cuba, on land allegedly expropriated by the Cuban government, the report said.
Since the US authorized lawsuits against foreign companies operating in Cuba, Spanish government officials have criticized the moves.
“One of the reasons for my visit to Cuba is the enforcement of title III of the Helms Burton law, which affects Spanish companies here. We reject the activation of this law,” said Spain’s Tourism Minister Maria Reyes-Maroto during a visit to Havana last year.