Cuban hospitality industry presses on in face of U.S. threats

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 9, 2019 - Duration: 01:25s

Cuban hospitality industry presses on in face of U.S. threats

Foreign companies are challenging the new measures announced by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on Cuba by continuing to operate and even expand their investments in hotels on the island nation.

Edward Baran reports.


Cuban hospitality industry presses on in face of U.S. threats

With its Instagram-friendly architecture, idyllic coastline and antique cars, Communist-run Cuba is a hit with tourists... Now the hospitality trade is facing US sanctions aimed at choking Cuba's beleaguered economy.

The Trump administration's tightening travel restrictions And they'll allow U.S. citizens to bring lawsuits against foreign companies profiting from property taken from them after Cuba's 1959 revolution.... But foreign hotel companies like Kempinski are continuing to operate..

And invest.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR FOR KEMPINSKI HOTEL GROUP'S SALES AND MARKETING IN CUBA, ALESSANDRO BENEDETTI, SAYING: "We know the threats and honestly speaking this is not nothing new which came now two weeks ago and took us a surprise, to be honest.

But, I think the mood in general is very positive." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE BARCELO GROUP IN CUBA, JUAN ANTONIO MONTES, SAYING: "We have no intention of leaving or changing any plans that we have in the works." The US administration is seeking to pressure Cuba's government into giving up support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The EU and Canada, whose companies are top investors here, have denounced the U.S. actions.

Previous presidents waived Title III of the Helms-Burton Act It says anyone whose property was nationalised after the Cuban Revolution can sue companies profiting from their former holdings.

Cruise operator Carnival Corp became the first company sued under the law last week.

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