Even in Mexico, America wants Americans to boycott Cuba

Sunday, February 19, 2006 at 04:02 PM

I find this odd.  Very odd.  But not surprising given the general level of arrogance that my country has exhibited since being placed under the thumb of George W. Bush.

The U.S. Treasury Department has reportedly set off a potential international incident (of the admittedly mild variety) by prodding an American-owned hotel in Mexico to evict the Cuban delegation to an energy conference in Mexico City.

The incident occurred on Feb. 3, when Treasury warned Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide that it might have broken U.S. laws imposing sanctions on Cuba by housing the 16 members of the Cuban delegation in its Sheraton Maria Isabel hotel in Mexico City.

The hotel quickly caved to the pressure, evicted the Cubans, and the conference was shifted to another Mexico City hotel.  BUT, not the end of the story: the Mexican government has launched an investigation which could ultimately result in a fine of $500,000 on the hotel for breaking anti-discrimination laws.

But do not fear, "The Bush administration is reviewing the way it implements economic sanctions against Cuba," and "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a House panel that 'dislocations' caused by the sanctions against Cuba would be looked at."

Am I alone in finding it aggravating beyond description that these people can't clear hurricane debris, find housing for hurricane victims, keep its subordinates from ripping off millions, or design a workable drug plan for Medicare, but they somehow were able to track down this technical infraction of laws against trade with Cuba, in a single American-owned hotel in another country, and urge that hotel to act in a way that appears to violate the anti-discrimination laws of that foreign country?

Maybe they should take their program for identifying violations of the sanction laws and have it adapted to finding housing for the Katrina victims.