Saturday, January 06, 2007

The embargo against Cuba and hotels

A U.S.-owned hotel in Norway told a group of Cubans that they could not stay there because of the U.S. embargo. In early 2006, a Cuban delegate was kicked out of a Mexico City Sheraton for the same reason. They were actually talking to U.S. oil executives about exploration possibilities.

They fall under the Helms-Burton law, which focuses on punishing activity in other countries. Of course, this puts any company in the difficult position of sometimes being forced to break national laws in order to comply with U.S. law. The Sheraton, for example, had to pay $112,000 in Mexican fines.

The embargo (the term used to refer to all the laws restricting economic interaction with Cuba) is intended to put such tremendous pressure on the Cuban people that they will reject Fidel Castro. At the very least, it is supposed to hurt Fidel Castro and his cadre of leaders.

These moves, on the contrary, will:

1. Preserve Fidel’s international image as a martyr to U.S. hegemony
2. Reinforce the notion of U.S. policy being utterly petty
3. Bolster the sentiment of Cubans that they are under attack and that the U.S. is not interested in their well-being

It seems to me that the Cuban government benefits from these actions, while the loser is the Hilton Hotel Corporation. Nice policy.

1 comments:

Mona 6:12 AM  

Thanks for writing this.

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