Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan Wants To Rescind Starwood Hotel Management Agreement

The Honorable Paul Ryan (R- WI)
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

9 June 2016


“The Obama administration took office with the misguided goal of conducting closer engagement with America’s adversaries.  They extended an open hand to governments in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela, and made damaging concessions often from a position of weakness. In the process, they have emboldened those regimes, alienated our allies, and left America in a more vulnerable strategic position. Now we must take immediate action to repair alliances and partnerships around the globe and to be clear about how the United States treats friends and foes.”

“Finally, in our own backyard we will continue to work with our friends and stem the influence of foes. Our relations with Canada and Mexico are crucial, especially in managing trans-border trade and countering trans-border threats. But we cannot blindly follow the administration’s normalization plan with communist Cuba, a regime that is fundamentally opposed to U.S. policy and that represses an entire population only 90 miles from our coastline. Instead, we will work to restore U.S. leverage, hold the Castro regime accountable, and make sure any further accommodations are met first with real concessions from the Cuban government. A first step should be to ban financial transactions with the Cuban military.”

“Our leverage to promote democracy and human rights should never be squandered. The Obama administration sought to normalize relations with the Castro regime in exchange for the promise of democratic and human rights progress in Cuba.  One year into the agreement, which included reopening the American embassy in Havana, the Castro regime is as repressive as ever. In the first two months of 2016 alone, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights registered 2,588 political arrests.  Nevertheless, President Obama reneged on his vow to refuse to travel to Cuba until human rights had improved.”

Stamford, Connecticut-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (2015 revenues exceeded US$5.7 billion) will be managing three properties in the Republic of Cuba (Gran Caribe-owned Hotel Inglaterra; Habaguanex-owned Hotel Santa Isabel and Gaviota-owned Hotel Quinta Avenida, which will be re-branded as a Four Points by Sheraton).  Gaviota is controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of the Republic of Cuba. 

Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International (2015 revenues exceeded US$14 billion), which is acquiring Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, is also in discussions with Republic of Cuba government-operated companies to identify properties to manage within the Republic of Cuba.

Members of the Board of Directors of Marriott International include:

J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board.

From National Public Radio (NPR), 5 April 2012: “Mitt Romney has been far and away the best-funded of the Republicans running for president. In addition to his own campaign chest, he has the wealthiest superPAC backing him, Restore Our Future.  Among the donors to Restore Our Future, are hotel tycoons J.W. and Richard Marriott. Each gave $750,000 so far this campaign cycle.”

The Honorable W. Mitt Romney, Former Republican Nominee for President of the United States [Note: Representative Ryan was the Republican Nominee for Vice President of the United States with Governor Romney in 2012], Former Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer; Vice Chairman of the President’s Export Council