Mr. Robert M. Glen of Plano, Texas, is using Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (known as “Libertad Act”) to file four (4) lawsuits to sue twelve (12) companies:
TripAdvisor LLC; TripAdvisor, Inc.; Orbitz, LLC; Trip Network, Inc. d/b/a CheapTickets; Kayak Software Corporation; Booking Holdings, Inc.; Travelscape LLC d/b/a Travelocity; Expedia, Inc.; Expedia Group, Inc.; Hotels.com, L.P.; Hotels.com GP, LLC; and American Airlines, Inc.
The four lawsuits were filed in United States District Courts in Washington (Seattle), Southern Florida, Delaware, and Nevada.
Glen v. American Airlines (1:19-cv-23994-CMA)
Glen v. Expedia Inc. et al (2:19-cv-01538-MLP)
Glen v. TripAdvisor LLC et al. (1:19-cv-01809-UNA)
Glen v. Travelscape LLC d/b/a/ Travelocity (2:19-cv-01683-GMN-NJK)
Mr. Glen has indicated that the companies managing/owning the hotels located on the claimed property may also be named as defendants. According to one of the lawsuits: “Cotepen is the site of three resorts. The first is currently known as Meliá Las Antillas (the “Las Antillas”), operated by Spanish hotel chain Meliá Hotels International, on the site of a former Beaches-brand resort. Las Antillas is a four-star, adults-only, all-inclusive resort featuring 350 guestrooms. The second is known as the Blau Varadero (the “Blau”). The Blau is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort featuring 395 guestrooms. The third is known as the Starfish Varadero (the “Starfish”). The Starfish is a family friendly, all-inclusive resort featuring 411 rooms. (Together, the Iberostar Tainos, Las Antillas, Blau, and Starfish are the “Subject Hotels”).”
Title III authorizes lawsuits in United States District Courts against companies and individuals who are using a certified claim or non-certified claim where the owner of the certified claim or non-certified claim has not received compensation from the Republic of Cuba or from a third-party who is using (“trafficking”) the asset.
According to one of the lawsuit filings:
“Plaintiff Robert M. Glen is an individual residing in Plano, Texas. Glen is a naturalized United States citizen and a "United States national" pursuant to 22 U.S.C. §6023(15).
Glen holds a claim to two beachfront properties located in Varadero, Cuba, on the Hicacos Peninsula. Varadero is one of Cuba's most popular beach resort towns, featuring one of the Caribbean's best beaches and dozens of hotels and resorts that attract tourists and vacationers from around the world. Varadero is also the site of one of Cuba's busiest international airports.
Glen is the owner of property located in Varadero, Cuba that was originally owned by Glen's great-grandfather, Sergio de la Vega, who lived in Cardenas, across the bay from the Hicacos Peninsula. Glen's great-grandfather traveled by boat to the peninsula and built improvements upon it. Ownership of the property later passed to Glen's grandfather, Manuel de la Vega. When Manuel died in 1928, the properties passed to his wife, Ana Maria Martinez Andreu ("Martinez Andreu"), Glen's grandmother. Manuel and Martinez Andreu divided their property into two, contiguous plots.
The first was known as "Blancarena," and included 280 meters of ocean frontage. The second was known as "Cotepen" (short for "Co-Territorial Peninsula") and included 715 meters of ocean frontage. (Together, Blancarena and Cotepen are the "Glen Properties"). Glen's family built a small home on the Glen Properties. Cotepen is contiguous to Blancarena and sits directly to the east of Blancarena. Cotepen and Blancarena are of equal depth, each extending southward toward the present-day Autopista Sur, the main road that traverses the peninsula.
When Martinez Andreu died, Blancarena passed to Elvira de la Vega Martinez ("Elvira"), one of Martinez Andreu's two daughters, and Cotepen passed to Ana Maria de la Vega Martinez ("Ana Maria"), Martinez Andreu's other daughter. Elvira is Glen's mother. Ana Maria is Glen's aunt. Elvira and Ana Maria exercised ownership over Blancarena and Cotepen and worked to develop the land. In the late 1950s, Elvira considered selling a portion of Blancarena and subdividing it, but her plans were interrupted by the revolution.
Maps and surveys drawn in 1958, just prior to the Cuban revolution, reflect the location of the Glen Properties on the peninsula, including in connection with the construction of a canal (still in existence today) directly to the south of the properties. After January 1, 1959, and in connection with Cuban revolution, the communist Cuban government confiscated the Glen Properties.
Following the communist Cuban revolution, the properties were confiscated from Glen's family by the Cuban government. After the revolution, Glen's family fled Cuba, and Glen later became a naturalized U.S. citizen. When Ana Maria and Elvira died, ownership of Blancarena and Cotepen passed solely to Glen. Like Ana Mara and Elvira, Glen has continued to maintain a claim to the Glen Properties.”