Outrage in Mexico after Sheraton Hotel evicts Cuban officials

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

An order given by the U.S. Treasury Department to the Sheraton Hotel in Mexico City to expel 17 Cuban officials visiting the capital has sparked political outrage and has been strongly condemned by the Mexican government.

Mexico's Foreign Relations Department has started a probe and warned that it could fine or even close the hotel if it can prove the hotel violated Mexican laws.

The Cuban officials visited Mexico last week to attend a meeting with U.S. energy executives. They moved to another Mexico City hotel on Saturday after the Sheraton Hotel evicted them.

According to Kirby Jones, president of the U.S. - Cuba Trade Association, the U.S. Treasury Department pressured the hotel's owner, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, claiming it was violating a 1961 law that bans U.S. companies from doing business with Cubans.