Sheraton closed in U.S.-Cuban feud

2nd Mar 2006

Mexico City authorities have closed the U.S.-owned Sheraton hotel demanding a $15,000 fine from the company over the expulsion of Cubans last month.The Sheraton was given 24 hours to empty its premises of 600 staff and 550 guests.

The move comes a month after inspectors said the luxury 755 room hotel had infringed safety and licensing laws when it threw out a group of Cuban officials holding an energy conference, organised by the US-Cuba Trade Association.

According to Starwood, it had been asked by the U.S. Treasury Department to tell the Cubans to leave, because of the U.S. embargo on the communist-run island. The Helms-Burton Act of 1996, allows for the imposition of sanctions by the U.S. on American businesses that trade with Cuba wherever they are based.

The Sheraton is said to be assessing the situation and its standing in the eyes of the law and how best to respond to the decision.

Representatives of Mexico’s tourist sectors have criticised the move and claims it will undermine the country’s tourist appeal and investor attractiveness overall.



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