Bruno Gives Kerry a Tour of Stolen American Property in Cuba

Thursday, August 20, 2015
The absence of Cuba's courageous dissidents from the flag-raising ceremony at the U.S. Embassy -- despite there clearly being ample space in the courtyard -- wasn't the only poor imagery during Secretary of State John Kerry's trip to Havana.

After the ceremony, Kerry held bilateral talks with Castro's Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, at Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX).

Thereafter, Kerry and Rodriguez held a joint news conference. 

But unlike the joint news conference after the opening of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., which was held at the State Department -- the Havana news conference wasn't held at the MINREX

Instead, it was staged at the luxurious, Hotel Nacional.

Thus, the images of Kerry and Bruno shaking hands over the "Hotel Nacional de Cuba" sign -- and of Bruno giving Kerry a tour of the property (see below).

This might seem charming and diplomatic -- except the Hotel Nacional is stolen American property.

As the Library of Congress reminds us, "The Hotel Nacional was inaugurated the evening of December 30, 1930. After 60 years of operation by its American owner, the Cuban government took over the building paying not a cent."

The American owner was the InterContinental Hotels Corporation (IHC), which at the time was a subsidiary of Pan American World Airways.

The InterContinental Hotels Corporation still has a U.S. certified claim for its majority interest in the Hotel Nacional, along with other minority investors.

Upon being seized by the Castro regime in 1960, it was placed under the control of Comandante Osmany Cienfuegos, who would later become a member of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party and Minister of Tourism.

Today, the Hotel Nacional remains the crown jewel of the Gran Caribe Hotel Group, S.A., a shadow company of Castro's Ministry of Tourism, which is headed by Colonel Manuel Marrero Cruz, a confidant of Raul Castro.

Col. Marrero Cruz previously ran Gaviota, S.A., a similar shadow company of the Cuban Ministry of the Armed Forces (MINFAR).

From Kerry down the line -- to all those businessmen, journalists and Members of Congress -- who partied to the tune of "normalization" at the Hotel Nacional, it was a celebration of larceny and profits for the Cuban dictatorship.

Castro couldn't have asked for a better marketing gimmick, while Kerry couldn't be more oblivious to the insult.

Meanwhile, reports indicate the Obama Administration is keen on skirting U.S. law, in order to encourage more American travelers to illegally traffic in stolen property in Cuba.