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Marriott ordered to shut operations in Cuba by end of August

MARRIOTT International has been ordered to shut down all it hotels in Cuba by the end of August as the US’s Trump administration increases pressure on the socialist island.

The group, which operates the Four Points Sheraton hotel in the capital Havana, has been told that it must stop business in Cuba.

In 2016 it became the first US-owned hotel to open on the island since the 1959 revolution that saw the end of the Batista dictatorship as Fidel Castro swept to power.

Marriott had hoped to open another hotel in Cuba, but the detente of the Obama era has been replaced by increasing hostility from US President Donald Trump,who has strengthened the six-decade economic blockade and last year invoked title III of the Helms-Burton Act.

This allows US citizens to sue for land they lost during the Cuban revolution and places severe restrictions on companies that want to do business with Havana.

A Marriott spokesman said: “We have recently received notice that the government-issued licence will not be renewed, forcing Marriott to cease operations in Cuba.”

Cuba has been branded part of a “troika of tyranny,” along with Nicaragua and Venezuela, by the US, which has increased sanctions on all three despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

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