Resident Of Texas Sues Expedia In Seattle For Libertad Act Trafficking In Cuba

Robert M. Glen, a resident of the State of Texas, and a naturalized citizen of the United States, has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court, Western District of Seattle, Washington, against Bellevue, Washington-based Expedia, Inc.; Expedia Group, Inc. (2018 revenues exceeded US$11 billion);, L.P.; and GP, LLC. 

Expedia Group brands include:, CheapTickets, Vrvo,,,,,, and

Mr. Glen asserts that he 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…” 

According to the lawsuit, the defendants provide booking services for four (4) hotels located on the land confiscated from Mr. Glen’s family. 

The hotels: the Iberostar Tainos, the Melia Las Antillas, the Blau Varadero, and the Starfish Varadero. 

The companies managing the properties are also likely to be named as defendants.

LINK To Case Filings

US Firm Expedia Is Proud of Results in Cuba
By Martha Andres Roman
Prensa Latina News Agency
30 October 2019

“Washington, Oct 30 (Prensa Latina) The global travel platform Expedia Group, based in the United States, is satisfied with its results in Cuba, a country where there is a growing demand for accommodation in all destinations. 

We are very proud to be working with Cuba; we have done very well in that market, said Rafael del Castillo, Expedia's senior resorts director for Latin America, in a telephone interview with Prensa Latina.  Less than one and a half year, in May 2017, the US global travel technology company announced the inclusion of Cuba among its destinations, and described the country as an iconic destination rich in culture. 

Since then, the company's alliance with local hoteliers made great progress, because, although only some 20 properties were advertised through the platform in the beginning, Del Castillo highlighted that there are more than 1,500 at present, including hotels from several chains and private houses.  According to the senior director, 50 percent of reservations to Cuba made through Expedia come from the United States, a nation whose citizens face travel restrictions to visit the neighboring country, including the obligation to comply with 12 categories authorized by the Department of the Treasury. 

A statement released by the company last month pointed out that in June, almost 50 percent of the demand came from the United States, while other major tourist-sending markets were the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, and Mexico. As the company stated in the statement, Expedia continues to increase the number of hosting partners in Cuba and is working closely with them to boost sales and help to meet their marketing objectives. 

'This increase in the number of accommodation partners opens up a wider variety of hotels that authorized travelers can choose for their vacations in Cuba,' the statement noted.  Regarding what destinations of Cuba are more attractive, Del Castillo first mentioned the capital, Havana, followed by the world-famous resort of Varadero and other areas in the west, although the company has reported a rapid growth in demand on the entire island. 

'Cuba is a magical destination, with a broad cultural offer, Havana with its entire colonial share and fantastic beaches,' said the executive, who added that the response to the offers has been very positive, especially among US customers.   

Regarding the restrictions imposed by the US Government on normal negotiations with Cuba, he pointed out that as a US company, it should follow the guidelines established by Washington, which prevents Expedia from contracting some properties.  However, we are positive and we hope that one day we can also work with those, noted the executive, adding that that Cuba is the company's fifth or sixth largest market in the Caribbean, and it has the potential to become the second one, only behind the Dominican Republic. 

As for the outlook for next year, Del Castillo pointed out that they hope to continue the fantastic pace of growth, and expressed the desire to bring a larger number of European customers, as well as from Mexico and Brazil, to Cuba.Such enthusiasm was expressed by the director himself in the statement issued a month ago when he said that Cuba ‘offers a unique combination of history, culture and some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in the Caribbean.”