The US State Department has reportedly informed hotelier Gabriel Escarrer, CEO and vice president of Meliá Hotels International, that he is forbidden from entering the country.
According to Spanish media reports and a subsequent announcement from Meliá, this is due to the company’s involvement in business in Cuba and related US legislation.
Meliá Hotels claims that more than 50 other companies have been given similar orders by the US government, though none have come forward to confirm this.
The ban is believed to be part of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act which pertains to property confiscated by the Cuban state post-1959 revolution.
US President Donald Trump is the first since the law was passed to allow it to be used, with all previous presidents suspending it due to international objections from parties with interests in Cuba.
Indeed, the European Union is even said to object to the Helms-Burton Act, with Meliá seeking support from both the Spanish government and the EU in a bid to reject the order.
Meliá Hotels International’s portfolio includes over 340 hotels worldwide, with nearly 60 further openings announced.