Washington, November 16 -- The U.S. State Department announced Friday it was adding five Cuban hotel facilities to its Restricted List, which prohibits direct financial transactions.
The five additions -- all hotels presumably associated with the Cuban military -- go into effect Tuesday, November 19, the State Department said.
The newly listed facilities include Gran Hotel Bristol Kempinski in Old Havana, which is scheduled to open by the end of the year, Grand Aston Varadero Resort in Varadero, as well as the Grand Aston Cayo Las Brujas Beach Resort and Spa, Gran Muthu Imperial Hotel and Gran Muthu Rainbow Hotel, all based in Jardines del Rey.
Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said through a release said the new move against Cuba comes amid the 500th anniversary of Havana, being celebrated this Saturday.
In his statement, Pompeo accused Cuban authorities of failing to their people, and of presumed human rights violations, and criticized the island´s solidarity with Venezuela and the Constitutional government of Nicolas Maduro.
The new measure marks the latest escalation in pressure by the Trump administration against Cuba. In October, the U.S. restricted the Cuban government’s access to commercial aircraft and announced the suspension of flights as of Dec. 10 to airports in Cuba other than Jose Marti International Airport in Havana. Earlier, it restricted the remittances that can be sent home by Cuban-Americans. (RHC)