Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mexico not our friend

UPDATE 1: From the BBC:

Local authorities in a district of Mexico City have announced the imminent closure of a US-owned hotel at the centre of a diplomatic row.
It said the branch of the Sheraton chain had committed irregularities such as unauthorised building work and failure to provide a menu in Braille.

Yeah sure, and if my grandmother had wheels she would be a Taxi. Do they really think ANYONE is going to believe this is the REAL reason for the closure of the hotel?? Give me a fucking break. I can't believe México continues to besarle el culo a the Bearded Stooge. Esto no tiene nombre caballeros.

The Mexican government is outraged with the expulsion of the Cuban delegation from the American owned Sheraton hotel.

Mexican authorities are threatening to slap the hotel with a nearly half million-dollar fine and possibly shut it down.

Standing near demonstrators who demanded punishment for the hotel, hotel guest Michele Radu said the Sheraton had no choice.

“There is an embargo and you've got to respect that,” said Radu, of San Francisco. “And oil is a sensitive issue to begin with. Are they going to break the embargo for oil now? I don't think so.”
Ms. Radu, from San Francisco of all places, hits it right in the mark. US Hotels have to follow US laws regarding who they trade with, no matter were they are located. And no, this does not mean the following:

“If you take this to its logical extreme, no Cuban can stay at any American hotel in the world and no Cuban can buy a McDonald's hamburger anywhere,” said Kirby Jones, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade Association and the organizer of last week's private-sector energy summit at the Sheraton.
This incident was an attempt by a Cuban business delegation to do business with a US business delegation on a matter that is not permitted by two acts and the embargo:

Brookly McLaughlin, a spokesman for the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, said the department asked Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., which owns the hotel, to expel the Cuban delegation in compliance with the Trading with the Enemy Act, established in 1917. The meeting was moved to a Mexican-owned hotel Saturday.

The act bans U.S. businesses and their subsidiaries from doing business with Cubans outside the United States. In 1996, after the United States approved the Helms-Burton Act – which banned foreign investment in Cuba on properties confiscated from Americans – Mexico, Canada and other countries produced “antidote laws” meant to outlaw compliance with the U.S. measures.
So why should we allow this illegal situation to be conducted on an American-owned company? The complete story here.