US hotel company Starwood to run 3 Cuban hotels

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HAVANA (AP) — Starwood says it has signed a deal to renovate and run three Cuban hotels, returning U.S. chains to the island more than 50 years after American hotels were taken over by Fidel Castro's socialist revolution.

All Cuban hotels are state-run so the deal signed Saturday puts a major U.S. corporation directly into business with the Communist government under a special license that pushes the Obama administration's legal dismantling of the trade embargo on Cuba further than it has since the decision to normalize relations with the island.

In a once-unimaginable arrangement, a hotel owned by the tourism arm of the Cuban military will become a Sheraton Four Points.

Starwood says it will invest millions to renovate the Quinta Avenida, Santa Isabel and Inglaterra hotels.