The same week that Barack Obama’s Treasury Department signed off on a special deal allowing a major U.S. hotel chain to open its doors in Cuba, the Chinese announced they were buying that very same hotelier.
But that’s not how it’s being sold to you.
On the surface, it looks like a triumph of capitalism over communism.
A major American hotel chain signs a deal with Communist Cuba to manage two hotels in Havana to market to vacation-hungry westerners.
But under the surface, it’s a different story.
Despite the détente between the United States and Cuba (one of Barack Obama’s self-proclaimed “successes”) there is still an economic embargo of the totalitarian island government. Obama has called for Congress to eliminate the 54-year-old embargo, but it remains in effect – for now.
Last week, however, the Treasury Department gave special permission for Starwood Hotels to sign a multi-million-dollar deal with the Castro regime.
This comes the same week that it’s announced a Chinese insurance company with close ties to the Communist party there is buying Starwood Hotels.
Here’s how it washes out, then: President Barack Obama gives permission for a Communist Chinese hotel chain to do business as an American company in Communist Cuba.
If that doesn’t sound much like a triumph of the free market, you’re right. But there’s more.
In the last 20 years, Starwood has given $12 million to lobbyists in Washington and $1.2 million to both Republicans and Democrats, according to OpenSecrets.org. In the 2014 campaign cycle, Starwood gave $440,000 to lobbyists and more than $71,000 to campaigns – more than $50,000 of which went directly to Democrats. In 2012, Starwood gave $14,000 directly to Obama’s re-election campaign, while only $1,500 to Mitt Romney’s.
To add to the aura of crony capitalism, four of the six lobbyists working for Starwood Hotels previously had jobs with the federal government.
Starwood Hotels is the parent company of such hotels as Sheraton, Westin and the St. Regis.
The Chinese company, Anbang Insurance Group, has been on a buying spree in the U.S. and Europe. They already acquired the famous Waldorf Astoria in New York, the Blackstone group of Hotels (Marriott, Renaissance) and they purchased Fidelity and Guaranty Life Insurance.
Anbang’s Chairman, Wu Xiaohui, is married to the granddaughter of China’s former leader Deng Xiaoping and one of its directors is the son of a Communist Revolution-era top general. With their command economy, the Communist Chinese routinely direct so-called “private” companies and their actions.
The Chinese have been on a foreign buying binge – signing $102 billion in foreign deals this year alone. Their long-term goal is to secure major portions of the world economy for their political and economic benefit.
And unwittingly (we hope), the Obama Administration has allowed them to take hold in Communist Cuba, using our own crony capitalism against us, backed up by millions of dollars in political payoffs.